The Ultimate Touch!!
17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.
18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus,19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
I believe in miracles and I see that they still happen. Someone prays to God for Him to move and God moves in a miraculous way. I don't totally understand miracles, so this continues to be a learning process for me as a believer. One miracle I do understand, and yes, base my life on is the miracle of salvation. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. I trust God for my salvation and I trust His Word in what it says about my salvation. I trust God that when I die I will spend eternity in heaven with Him because I received Christ and asked Him to forgive my sins and He did. Nuff' said!
But the other miracles that I don't understand must be a part of my faith journey as well or my walk is not as complete as God wants it to be. In the above scripture it tells of Jesus being ghosted by Pharisees and teachers of the religious law, and the continued fake news they were sharing about Jesus at every turn. It also mentions that the Lords' healing power was strong with Jesus. Then it references a group of men who believed enough to bring a paralyzed man to Jesus for healing. They wanted to take him inside where Jesus was but the place was full, so they proceeded to shinny up on the roof and took off some tiles and lowered the man right in front of Jesus. Wow!! Now that is some faith and some works right there!! No barrier was going to stop them from getting that man to Jesus so he might be healed.
What was Jesus' response to their faith and their actions? Jesus said, "Young man, your sins are forgiven." At this point the crowd might be thinking "There he goes. He healed another lame man". And then they might say What? Did he say "your sins are forgiven?" What's up with that? In fact that is exactly what the Pharisees and teachers of the Law said in verses 21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[d] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
A thinking man in his mind might rethink the statement "only God can forgive sins." At that point I think we say "this is God!" Duh!! Those religious people couldn't get beyond their religion to get to the obvious truth. Jesus is God and He is all powerful and all knowing. In verse 22 scripture says "Jesus knew what they were thinking." Jesus appealed to their inner person at this point and said "why do you question this in your hearts?" So the problem was their hearts, not their brains. I believe this speaks to our problems, because most of our problems are heart centered.
In 1 Samuel 16 God tells Samuel to that He has rejected Saul as king and that He wants Samuel to go Bethlehem because He has selected one of Jesse's sons as the new king. So Jesse brings out Eliab and Samuel thinks “Surely this is theLord’s anointed!” God then sets his standard for choosing by saying Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Here is where the whole faith thing get a little murky for believers. Doubt becomes a part of our decision making instead of faith and the doubt works out of the condition of our heart or our inner person. We can believe things we see with our eyes and we can get on board with the explainable. But is that really faith? I think not. We, like the pharisees and teachers of the law begin to put restrictions on what Jesus can and cannot do and there goes the faith.
As I mentioned earlier I don't understand miracles, but I totally understand the miracle of salvation. The Jesus doubters could handle the physical healing but they couldn't handle the forgiveness of sin. Hmmm. Think of it this way. We should be able to believe Jesus for anything because we haved believed in Him for the ultimate thing, eternal life. I hope this makes sense for you, but just in case you are putting limitations on Jesus for all the other miracles look at your inner self. Listen to your heart and hear what it is saying to you, because according to God choosing David as king, God looks at the heart, so maybe we should too!
The ultimate touch for the crippled man was a healed heart and then Jesus said these words "Stand up. Pick up your mat and go home." The other touch was a touch on his crippled body and the man was made whole spiritually and physically. If we are too religious in our faith we might miss the power of Jesus and thus miss the lesson. If we are in close relationship with Jesus we won't miss anything!! That is why we are called believers, because WE BELIEVE! Do you still believe? Time to get back to having a believing heart and all the other stuff will fall into focus. Have you felt the Ultimate Touch??
The Pilgrimage continues....