Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
FAITH THAT LEADS TO HEALING
LUKE 5: 17– 26
v24 You may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, he said to the one who was paralyzed
“I say to you , stand up and take your bed and go to your home”.
As Jesus continued to travel and teach, he reached at a place and continued teaching in a house. According to Mark this is a house at Capernaum (2: 1-2). The news about him was well spread. That house too crowded to approach him. Some men brought a paralytic to him. In Jewish culture and religion, paralysis was believed as the judgment of God due to serious sin. Such people were banned from the priesthood and excluded from full participation in the community. Thus this man was viewed as an outcast and judged by God. Because of the crowd he could not be brought before Jesus. On seeing the faith of the people who brought the paralytic, Jesus healed him (Mark. 2:5 and Luke 5:20). Not only physical healing but forgiving of sin were also given to him. Faith, forgiving of sins and healing are interwoven in this account. Let us meditate upon some dimensions of this faith and the holistic healing of Jesus.
FAITH SEEN IN UNDIVIDED TRUST IN GOD
These four men brought this paralytic to Jesus because of their faith and trust in Jesus. Because of the crowd they could have left him or given up at the premises of that house. But they did not. They were very tenacious and particular to bring him to the direct notice of Jesus. They completely believed that Jesus could heal the paralytic man. They never consulted anybody to confirm the efficacy of the healing power of Jesus. Their undivided trust in the person and power of Jesus enabled and compelled them to take up any risky or adventurous task to bring this paralytic before Jesus. God expects this undivided faith from us. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind (Luke 10:27). This faith emboldens us to face any kind of obstacles in this journey of coming to Jesus as well seen in this passage done by the four men. Here we have to note that the faith of the faithful community brings healing to those in the community. Another point is that our faith in God is our love and care for the other which leads to the healing of the other. In short, the healing of my brother or neighbor is inseparable part of my faith life.
FAITH SEEN IN FORGIVENESS AND HEALING
Faith causes healing. Faith is molded through our understanding and beliefs. Sickness is a psycho-somatic disorder. Therefore, healing has physical, mental and spiritual realms. According to Jewish belief, sickness is the result of sin done by that person or ancestors. The rabbis taught about God “who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases”. They believed that “a sick man does not recover from sickness until all his sins are forgiven him”. Therefore, forgiveness of sins is a prerequisite for healing. But only God can forgive sins ( 5:21 ). Jesus is going to provide a sign to prove that He has the authority to forgive sins without religious rituals or intermediaries. So through forgiveness of sins Jesus heals the sick and also was proves Himself to be the Messiah or God. Also, Jesus corrects their belief that sickness may or may not be caused by sin. Jesus clarifies it when he gave sight to the blind in John chapter 9. Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him” (John 9:3). In short, faith, healing, forgiveness of sins are interconnected. Therefore, scripture says, “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up: and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven (James 5: 15) “. We need to confess our sins for forgiveness. Confessing sins to God compels us to reconcile with fellow human beings. The Apostle James tells this fact as “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed (5:16 )”. Reconciling with one another is very important for cleansing both mentally and spiritually and having a healthy life.
Our dear Lord, help us to refine and cleanse ourselves in this Lenten Season by confessing our sins deliberately. Give us holistic healing. In the name of Jesus Christ - Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Real faith is the undivided faith in the Person of God who can give us holistic healing for a healthy life.
REV. DR. MATHEW M. THOMAS, CHENGANNUR.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church