Daily Reflection – 7/1/2021
He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings. (Matthew 9:1-8)
Jesus’ treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day. When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable. He first forgave the man his sins.
Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give. Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God’s redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well.
That, of course, is the message for us, that our wounds can be overcome. None of us moves through life without being wounded in some way. A person we love deeply dies. Through misunderstanding we hurt to a son, daughter, or friend in a lasting way. We break an important relationship because of a careless word or action.
The scars in Jesus’ body are there to assure us that the blood and pain of those wounds can be overcome. Jesus, of course, received his wounds as an innocent victim. We often are not so guiltless. Yet the hope of healing still extends to us. Through God’s grace, through the love of others, through our own patient endurance as time passes, our wounds can become scars. And our scars should not be hidden, because they are a part of who we are. They are a part of our story like Jesus’ scars were part of his story. We are only being honest when we say, “Yes, I’m the person whose father died much too young. I’m the one whose demands alienated my daughter. I’m the one whose decisions have placed my family in financial jeopardy.”
The gospel reminds us to admit that our injuries are a part of us. Our hurts cannot be erased, they can only be healed. And that is why we must not hide our scars from ourselves or others. They are the signs of healing. They are signs to remind us that that God has been faithful, that others have loved us, that our future can still be blessed—that we can move from death to resurrection.
Everything that Jesus did, healing, teaching and speaking out against hypocrisy, were signs of something greater that Jesus was doing: he was forgiving sins. Reconciling the world to His father was Jesus’ mission. Thus, reconciliation is the re-creation of the world; and the most profound mission of Jesus is the redemption of all of us sinners.
And Jesus did not do this with words, with actions or by walking on the road, no! He did it with his flesh. It is truly he, God, who becomes one of us, a man, to heal us from within.” It was only to prove that he had the authority on earth to forgive sins that Jesus cured the paralysis. He had already given him a far greater gift!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, mind, and soul. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life – my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your truth and goodness.”
The Lord Jesus is ever ready to bring us healing of mind, body, and soul. His grace brings us freedom from the power of sin and from bondage to harmful desires and addictions. Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus’ healing power?