When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
This is an odd story. A paralyzed man had some friends who would stop at nothing to facilitate his healing. In order to get to Jesus, they dug through the roof of someone’s house to lower their friend into Jesus’ presence. They did this with the hope that Jesus might grant their paralyzed friend the ability to move about on his own. They pursued healing.
What Jesus offered, however, was forgiveness. It is true that in the ancient world physical infirmities were believed to be the consequence of less than faithful living. If you were not well physically, it was an indication that you were not well spiritually. Whatever the case, Jesus judged that the man’s true infirmity was spiritual in nature. The man was brought to Jesus for a physical healing, but Jesus responded first to his spiritual ailment. In truth, it is often our soul that aches more than our body. The wrongs we have committed, the harm we have done, the injuries we have inflicted on others trap us in a stasis of sin. We often find that we cannot take a single step forward in life unless we are willing to go back and deal with the infractions of our past. Soul healing is our most pressing need, and that is the need Jesus first responds to—get the soul right, and then we can get to work on the body.
Do you long to be forgiven?
Lord, I am too often paralyzed by my past. My sins of yesterday haunt my living today. I need healing if I am to truly move forward. Please forgive me. Call me from off my mat and send me forth into a new and more abundant life. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.