It’s hard to imagine a more exciting scene!
Jesus had healed enough people for word to spread like wildfire. The crowd quickly got so big it was standing room only spilling out of the house. (Mark 2) Every eye was riveted on Jesus until…
The ceiling split open and four guys lower their friend on a mat.
- The sick were being made healthy…
- The blind were seeing again…
- The demon possessed were being set free…
Imagine the hopes and expectations of this man on the mat with legs refusing to work. And in the midst of all that healing going on Jesus looks at him and says…
“Your sins are forgiven.”
The guy must have been thinking something like: “Um, thanks Jesus but I was sort of hoping you would do something with my legs.”
Did Jesus miss the obvious?
Why would He skip past two legs “out-of-order” to focus on sin?
Surely the man’s legs were the real issue here? Or were they?
Jesus knows something the man doesn’t know—that he has a much bigger problem than his uncooperative legs. The bigger problem is the sin that separates him from God. What good does it do to have legs that work if you’re going to spend eternity apart from God?
So what’s the big, pressing issue for you in this life?
- Poor health or a life-threatening disease?
- Finances that keep coming up short?
- The lack of a meaningful relationship or too many dysfunctional ones?
- The death of a loved one?
- Family members and friends who have never accepted God’s gift of grace?
- Dead end job, bad boss, noisy neighbor, lousy teacher, apathetic students, annoying in-laws, kids bullying your kid…?
Tim Keller enjoyed reading articles by Cynthia Heimel and there’s one he’s never forgotten. She describes being around many young struggling actors and actresses who are desperately looking for their big break into show business. She observed that many of these who did make it into the business became even less content and more miserable than before.
She describes feeling sorry for them because they had the thing they had thought would make everything okay – and it didn’t. Then Heimel added a statement that took Keller’s breath away:
“I think when God wants to play a really rotten practical joke on you, he grants your deepest wish.”
Jesus didn’t miss the obvious. What He’s saying to the crippled man is this: “I’m not going to play that rotten joke on you. I’m not going to just heal your body and let you think you’ve gotten your deepest wish.”
The Bible says that our real problem is that every one of us is building our identity on something besides Jesus. Something or someone else is our savior. Almost always when we first go to Jesus saying, “This is my deepest wish,” His response is that we need to go a lot deeper than that.
What is it that we think we need to make life complete or okay?
If it’s anything other than Jesus, we’re settling for less!
Will we surrender our deepest wishes to discover a new depth of peace and contentment through intimacy with the Lord?
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.