Devotional: ‘Healer of Our Body and Soul’

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Mark 2:1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” NKJV

Most of us read through the gospels and focus primarily on the miracles. Jesus gave sight to those who were blind. Jesus healed those who were sick. Jesus put strength into the limbs of those who were crippled. Jesus even raised the dead. I am sure that everyone who experienced one of Jesus’ miracles was ecstatic. I can’t imagine being blind or crippled and suddenly able to see or walk. But the miracles Jesus performed were about more than physical healing, they were signs that gave evidence to who He was and what He had come to do.

It’s interesting that Jesus forgave the man’s sins before He healed him. I would think that it would be in the reverse order. I would think that Jesus would go from the lesser to the greater, but instead, Jesus chose to go from the greater to the lesser. Why did Jesus do this?

We know that it was something supernatural for Jesus to heal the man. But the crowd didn’t know that for sure. What if the man’s healing was only a staged performance? What if Jesus had prearranged for the man to pretend to be paralyzed so that when he was supposedly healed, everyone would admire Jesus? We know that wasn’t the case, but those watching didn’t know it. If his healing was a fake, so would be his forgiveness. Jesus could say the man’s sins were forgiven, but how would anyone know that it was true? Because of this, Jesus began with the man’s forgiveness and then He healed him.  

6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 

Notice again what the Bible says, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” The supernatural miracle gave evidence to who Jesus was and what He had come to do.

Jesus worked from the greater to the lesser in order to demonstrate His authority to forgive. But He also worked from the greater to the lesser because the man’s spiritual healing was more important than his physical healing. Though Jesus restored the man’s physical health that day, it lasted at best for only a few years. Eventually, he grew old and died. But the healing of his soul has continued on into eternity. Won’t it be fun to talk with that man some day in heaven?

Until we meet again, God bless you brethren.

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