Restoration of Relationships
Vs.5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
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 dependent on his health or wealth. In other parts of the Bible we see that a person’s relationship to God is not dependant on the amount of money or power he has. 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 remove “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 who came to hear Jesus actually became a barrier to the 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, dangerous and the controversial method to bring their friend to Jesus. Do we have that kind of determination to bring others to Christ? Our greatest responsibility and privilege 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 Christ provides is not only physical but also social. Christ also restores relationships. Those of us who have received healing and forgiveness of sins like the man Jesus healed have a responsibility to witness to the transforming power and grace of Jesus.
Jesus, through your healing and forgiving grace, make me a living witness for you. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Relationships are the foundation of spiritualityChristian Education Forum