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You are probably familiar with Jesus’ miraculous healing of the paralyzed man. A group of friends lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof of a building so that Jesus could heal him.
In the past decade, as I have raised my son who cannot walk, this is a story that I haven’t spent a lot of time studying. Recently, as I picked my daughter, Miriam, up from preschool her teacher mentioned to me that this was the story that the children had learned that day. She said that the preschoolers were asking about Miriam’s brother who cannot walk. They asked all sorts of questions and Miriam had the chance to answer them. It was a sweet story of how my little daughter was already a beautiful advocate for her big brother.
As that day and week wore on, I couldn’t stop thinking of the man who Jesus had healed. I kept thinking of all the ways that my Liam’s disabilities help to share the gospel and how God uses my son in such beautiful ways. When I thought of these things it was with the underlying wish that no matter the great purpose that God may be achieving through my boy, I want Liam to be healed here on earth. I thought about how the paralyzed man stood and carried his mat away and I envisioned my Liam standing and walking too.
The story was on my heart for days. I went to it in my Bible time and reread it. What came to my attention was that the man’s earthly healing was important and showed Jesus’ power, but that wasn’t the amazing part of the story. The most amazing part of the story was when Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2: 10-12 says, "But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.' He got up, took his mat and walked out." This clarifies that the earthly healing was to show those who doubted that Jesus was not a mere man. He was a man with authority to heal the body, but more importantly the soul.
This hymn verse was a part of our Sunday worship and with this story still on my mind, I thought it had profound meaning.
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
["My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less," Edward Mote, 1834]
As I sang those words, I thought of the miracle that we are truly clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. When God looks at me he doesn’t see my disobedience, my mistrust, my lack of patience, or my many other sins. God sees the perfection of his son. Through faith, I am wearing a robe of righteousness that Jesus gave to me by his death on the cross. The same is true for you. THIS is what Jesus was telling the paralyzed man in the story. “Son (daughter), your sins are forgiven.” Jesus gave the man his most dire need – not the need to walk, but forgiveness of sins.
The paralyzed man had the same need that each of us has. Forgiveness of sins is what we each need the most. As the mom of a child who cannot do so many things, I was so focused on the man’s paralysis and healing. My own earthly desires for my son almost had me missing the point of this story. "Son, your sins are forgiven."
I pray that as we head into the Lenten season in the next few weeks, God gives me a heart of faith that I can focus on this truth and walk in his grace.I pray that he does the same for you.
Thank you for your son. Because of him, you see only perfection when you look at me. Please help me to focus on you and living as your forgiven child. Help me to keep an eternal outlook - remembering that glorifying you in my life is far better than any earthly comfort and health. Lord, thank you for the promise of an eternity in heaven with you.