Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming!
Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Mark 2:6-7 (NIV)
Yesterday we saw that our Lord’s first concern was not that the man was healed, but to get the idea across to the people present that He could do what only God could do. Apparently the doctors of the time could not heal the man. That was why Jesus was needed. He then did what human resources could not.
However, the healing was the way of proving that Jesus could really forgive people their sins. That was why Jesus forgave the man his sins before healing him. Jesus put first things first. The physical world is secondary to the spiritual in Jesus’ teaching. We need to have the spiritual part of our lives sorted out first, then we can consider the physical.
But there is another point that needs to be seen in this story. Some people have the notion that all physical illness in people is the result of their personal sins. This we reject. In John 9:1-3 Jesus flatly denies the need to state that when a person is ill it must mean that they have committed some sin that caused the physical illness.
No one has the right to contradict Jesus and say that if you are ill you need to confess whatever sin brought on the illness and you will be healed. That notion is nonsense and wonderfully godly people have been tormented by sinners into believing they are being punished by God through disease or other disaster for some sin or other.
We need to put away the idea that “It is a judgment of God.” when we see some fine Christian person suddenly taken desperately sick or caught in some other calamity.
There is no reason under the sun to insist that the lame man Jesus healed was lame because of his sinful behaviour. The simple fact is that all of us are sinners in need of a Saviour. This man was likely no worse or better than any other person in the house where he lay before Jesus. Some of us as sinners are ill and some are not.
If you are ill today do not decide that it must be because of some unconfessed sin in your life. Of course, you need to pray and ask the Lord to reveal any sin you are not aware of. Seek to be instructed by your Creator about your relationship to Him. Be sure that you are not offending Him in some manner or other.
Then, when you know that your sins are forgiven and you are not offending God, you may seek His grace to help you in your illness. Remember that God always heals the spiritual problems of all who seek His grace. However, He does not always heal our physical issues.
Read the following from Paul to guide you in times of sorrow.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)