What Do You See?

Yesterday I read about the paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus on mat. My guess is that he was hoping to be healed.
I tried to imagine what life for this man might have been like. A motionless life - so clearly set apart from the rest of people. And then God in the form of a rabbi approaches me. I am very clear about what my need is. To move. To be physically healed. And if this man is God, then I can only guess that what I need is even more clear to him.

My entire existence has been focused on understanding why I am paralyzed and trying to no longer be paralyzed. So, we approach Jesus for healing. And he responds to the request. But instead of acknowledging that I am a motionless man lying on a mat being carried by other men, he tells me my sins are forgiven.

It is only an after thought . . . a response to the men around him who are chiding him . . . that he adds, "Get up, take your mat and go home." If those men had not been there challenging his power, he wouldn't have addressed my need. He would have left it at forgiveness.

My mind is overwhelmed as I consider that Jesus seemed to be unconcerned with the man's paralysis. He only healed him in order to appease the crowds - to prove to them that he had authority and power on earth to forgive sins. He was only concerned with the forgiveness of this man's sins. He seemed disinterested and unconcerned at best about the man's physical needs. And not only was he unconcerned with healing the obvious, external need - it was a piece of cake to do! It took so little effort.

Why is this? Why can it be so easy for God to change our circumstances and yet He doesn't even seem to take note of them. He sees the need and yet doesn't address it. It would seem, then, that the things he values for us are completely different that what we value. How do we begin to desire and love the things that He desires and loves for us?

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Blogger Lolita said...

i'm not sure which passage you're referring to exactly, but if it's the one in John that i'm thinking of....

i have been taught that the man actually didn't want to be healed. Jesus asked him why he didn't get up and walk, and he made an excuse about how everyone rushes in front of him when the angel stirs the healing water.

so that's when Jesus tells him to get up and go.

not that his desire not to be healed applies to you, but maybe just another way to look @ the story.

9:37 PM, August 09, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

The passage I was looking at is Matthew 9:1-8.

"Some men brought to him (Jesus) a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

In this case, I think the men were all expecting a physical healing for their friend; not a spiritual healing. I think they had faith that he could and would heal but that the thing he healed was totally not what they were expecting. If it were spiritual healing they thought jesus could offer, perhaps they would have all approached him. but in this particular case, they were interested in one friend being seen by jesus - it seems that they all anticipated that Jesus would heal the body.

In my case, I look to God to heal the obvious things that impact my daily life (relationships, feelings, physical pains, etc) . . . when his main interest seems to be forgiving my sins. And the other stuff might not ever be a priority to him. Because it might not be the stuff he is actually concerned by.

10:36 PM, August 09, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

Funny that you mention that. A mom at our school just died of cancer two days ago. The kids were asking why God doesn't heal everyone, if He can. I told them that often, God is more concerned about our hearts than our bodies.
It fits right in with your post.

It would certainly change me if I lived with this as my truth.

Thanks for posting this.

6:10 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Dawn Morehouse said...

Ryan and I just finished reading a book that has greatly affected both of us. It is called THEY FOUND THE SECRET and it is 20 chapters of short biographies of Christian leaders. One woman, who went through a period of great pain and darkness made a statement that, "My need is the most glorious possession I have outside of Christ himself" because her need kept her in daily surrender to him and forced her to abide in the vine. This struck me quite personally because I have resented how needy I've been in the last 5 years and constantly have asked that my need be removed. Now I see that he is using the need to show me himself. Another statement she makes is "His love is so much greater and so much more recreative than we can possibly conceive and we experience it when we stop resisting."

6:13 PM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Lolita said...

God is more concerned about our hearts than our bodies

good answer!

thanks for clearing up my biblical confusion, cara. :)

7:55 PM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Today I didn't preach on 2 Corinthians 12 (long story). However, in preparing for that message, something struck me about Paul and what happened with his thorn in the flesh (more specifically his messanger of Satan). He prays 3 times (connection with Jesus in the garden and his pending crucifixion) that God would heal him. I like how Peterson paraphrases God's answer in the Message, "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Paul's response to God is a change in perspective. He basically weighs his struggle against God's strength and concludes that he will be joyful and change his focus. My problem is that I would rather God change his focus than me change mine. So how do we begin to desire and love like Him? It starts with changing my vantage point setting aside my desire for resolution. Wow, this holiness thing is so simple (to be said with a thick layer of sarcasm).

11:18 PM, August 13, 2006  

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