On: January 4, 2015 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralysed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” [Luke 5:17-20]
Hum. Another challenging situation. Here it is the faith of the man’s friends that appears to unlock Jesus’ decision to use the healing power we are told was available to Him at this time. What if we or our friends can’t rustle up enough faith? What happens if we’re out of luck and there is no power available for healing when we need it? And then, Jesus’ says that sin is the cause of the man’s lameness. Complex issues.
Or are they? The friends’ faith was not a magical formula. They reckoned they could help their stricken friend by getting him in front of Jesus. So they went the extra mile to achieve it. We’re not told whether a court case followed for the damage caused to the roof(!), but their faith got the paralysed man to a place where something could happen.
And then the power to heal? I would say that we all go through seasons of inspiration and empowerment, however exalted or mundane the outcome – it is part of the seasonal ebb and flow of being human. It was part of Jesus’ humanity that He did not have the power to hand all the time. Apart from anything else it would have been exhausting.
What of his sin? We are not told that it was the cause of his paralysis. Although it might have been. He could have fallen trying to break into someone’s house (this would have had a pointed resonance with his mode of entry into Jesus’ presence). Or maybe he had become bitter and brutal because of his condition. Or none of these.There are certainly no grounds in this story to say that if we have an ailment it is God’s judgement on our sin.
My point? We are all individuals. We all have individual situations. God knows them and will engage with us on an individual basis if we will come before Him, however individual our approach. We should resist the temptation to generalise, as we are likely to find ourselves misrepresenting God. And that may well be a sin that needs forgiving.
Father God, please keep me from being judgmental and help me to see what you are doing in people’s lives around me. Amen