Word For The Day By Christian Education Forum
FAITH OF THE OTHER IN BAPTISM
Luke 5: 17-20
A faith that brings healing
The healing of the paralytic is a well known story in the gospels, which shows the power and authority of Jesus to heal and to forgive. In this incident, the sick man owes a lot to the four friends for his healing, because they brought him to Jesus. The faith of the four friends was admirable. They firmly believed that Jesus came to free us from all that cripples, bonds and enslaves. They also believed that - if only could they carry this paralytic into the presence of Christ, he would be healed. The faith is found not in the assembly of scribes and Pharisees from all the surrounding villages, but in four unnamed neighbors. The confidence and determination of four friends resulted in the miraculous healing of the crippled man. The Bible says, 'When Jesus saw their faith - a faith that was not deterred by any difficulty- he healed him'. The concern for meeting human needs helped them to overcome all manmade obstacles. Their one and only aim was to help the crippled to get God's help. Jesus saw the faith of the men who brought the paralytic and he pronounced forgiveness. How are we today? Are we tired of the desperate situations around us? Does our faith and determination bring positive transformation in us as well as in our community?
Faith of the other in Baptism
There are people who doubt the efficacy of infant Baptism, saying that the child who is baptized cannot believe in God and thus not able to receive blessings. But Jesus welcomed children and blessed them during his ministry. From the passage under consideration, it is very clear that our faith can bring blessings and healing in others. Baptism is a sacrament administered in the faith community. Element of Grace should not be forgotten. It is not by our intellect or ability to believe that we are blessed, but because of God's love and Grace. Therefore this passage very well assures us that the prayerful support of the parents and faith community can provide an occasion for bestowing divine blessings upon the generations.
Prayer: O Lord, help us to have confidence in your power of transformation and give us determination to bring our concerns into your presence. Let our prayers be a channel of blessings for others and our efforts bring health and healing in our community. Amen
Dr. Reena Geevarghese, Sinai, New York