As we come before the Lord, let’s be spiritually recharged. Just like our phones need to be recharged, God wants our spirits to be recharged through giving worship and receiving grace, so we can be strengthened to fulfill his desire.
1.Jesus Knows What We Need The Most
In the scripture reading, people are crowding to listen to Jesus’ message and be healed. A group of friends bring their paralytic friend to receive healing but it is so crowded that they cannot bring him in, so they make an opening in the roof and lower him in. Jesus, however, says something surprising. The paralytic’s friends brought him in to to receive healing and be able to stand and move, but Jesus doesn’t heal him, but instead tells him that his sins are forgiven. Jesus understood what the paralyzed man needed most, for his sins to be forgiven. What the world needs the most now is nothing else but for their broken relationship with God to be restored. People live their lives separated from God, having no choice but to be in sin and to sin. God gave us the 10 commandments not so we can follow all of them, but to be reminded that it is impossible for us to keep all the commandments by our own strength and we are ultimately sinners who need Jesus Christ.
The focus of Jesus' ministry was not feeding the poor and healing the sick, but restoring people’s broken relationship with God, showing people the way to meet God. We might think we need to solve x, y and z in our lives to restore our lives, but Jesus understood what we needed the most, and saw the greater problem of the paralytic man, and gave him the greatest answer of forgiveness. When we come to truly worship God, our dead spirits are alive. However, without worship, our spirits are dead and we cannot discern from right and wrong. When we restore worship and revive our spirits and restore our relationship with God, our entire lives will be restored. Then, we will have the strength and power to transcend beyond our circumstances, and we can stand as a witness to shine the light of Jesus Christ to the whole world. Let’s remember Jesus has resolved and restored everything, and all we need to do is witness and proclaim.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
When we restore our relationship with God, we can completely entrust our lives to God. Yes, sometimes Jesus will heal but sometimes he has a greater plan for us, and regardless of the answer we receive, we need to put our complete trust in him.
2. The Importance of Faith and Intercessory Prayer
It may seem like healing or changing someone is impossible but in God’s time, he restores everything. The paralytic’s friends had faith their friend could be healed if they met Jesus. They had faith in the power of Jesus’ healing, and in that same way, we need to pray for our friends and family with that same kind of faith. Then, in God’s time, he will work within them and open up their hearts to receive salvation. When we stand with the faith that everything is possible through Christ and pray for others, God will work greatly. We can see this exemplified in Queen Esther when she asks all the Israelites to pray for her as she stands before the King and in Peter, when the members of the Early Church pray for him while he is in prison. St. Augustine’s mother prayed for him to receive Jesus, and even though he seemed hopeless, she never gave up and one day he received God’s voice and accepted him. In God’s perfect time, he will open up his doors. Let’s not give up on prayer but enjoy it.
3. Opposition to Christ or For Christ
As Jesus is speaking, there is some opposition in some scribes who question Jesus in verse 6. As spiritual leaders, they should have been the first to recognize Christ, but instead they criticize him for acting like God. Where are we? Are we standing in opposition to Christ or are we living for Christ? Even though Jesus shows his authority, still they do not understand. After forgiving the sins of the paralytic, Jesus tells him “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And the paralytic gets up and walks home. In the same way the paralyzed man was changed, we need to be changed when we come to worship. Our spirits need to be revived so that others can see us and be amazed and glorify God like the crowd did when they saw the paralytic walk.
Christ is alive and working and has called us to be the salt and light of the earth with the authority of Christ. Let’s enjoy his covenant that he is with us.