Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Restoration of relationships
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (v 5)
Jesus, like the prophets, invited Israel and us into a new and wonderful world where healing and forgiveness of sins creates a new life, new possibilities, and new relationships. Jesus the Christ came here to restore our proper relationship with God and with those around us.
Jesus Restores Our Relationship with God
One of the main points of this story is Jesus declaring that the man’s sins are forgiven, while he is still paralyzed. Even though the man is still paralyzed, Jesus is saying that his relationship with God is restored. Here Jesus is demonstrating that a person’s relationship to God is not dependant on their health or illness. In other parts of the Bible we even see that a person’s relationship to God is not dependant on the amount of money or power they possess. As this story demonstrates, we can have the right relationship with God, even if we are experiencing some pain or problems. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 prayed three times to the Lord to take “the thorn in the flesh,” the “messenger of Satan” from him. But the response he received was that Christ’s “grace was sufficient.” Paul understood that the proper relationship to God he received as a gift from Jesus, did not mean that he would not experience any pain, sufferings, or misfortunes in this world.
Jesus Restores Our Relationship with Other People
The crowd of people who came to hear Jesus, actually became a barrier to a person who was in great need of healing and forgiveness. Instead of demonstrating their faith by making a way for the paralyzed man to get to Jesus, they stood in his way and prevented him from the healing he needed. Fortunately, the paralyzed man’s friends had enough faith in Jesus’ abilities, that they were willing to do the difficult, the dangerous, and the controversial to bring their friend to Jesus. Do we have that kind of determination to bring others to Christ? One of our greatest responsibilities and one of our greatest privileges is to bring needy people to Jesus. After Christ forgives the man his sins and heals his body, Jesus tells him to “go to your home.” The healing and the restoration that only Christ provides is not only physical but also social. Christ also restores relationships.
When the man stood up, took his mat, and went out before all of them, the people were amazed. He became a living witness to the transforming power and grace of Jesus Christ. This is what each of us is called to do, once we have experienced the healing and forgiveness that Jesus provides. We are to change our relationship with the people around us by being a witness to the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Jesus, through your healing and forgiving grace, make me a living witness to you., Amen.
Rev. Shibi. M Abraham Oklahoma