Text: Matthew 9:1-8
For those with disabilities
For those paralyzed by life
This famous story of Jesus first pronouncing forgiveness of sins and then a word of healing over the paralytic is rich with meaning: the need of the paralytic, the faithfulness of those who brought him to Jesus, the astounding proclamation of forgiveness, the equally astounding proclamation of healing.
The world long has held those last two close together: illness of the body signaled pollution in the soul. Illness was perceived as resulting from displeasing the gods, a result of some sin, and if you wanted to heal the body, you needed to set right how the person was out of balance with the universe.
Today we are not so astonished at Jesus’ proclamation of forgiveness, as we are largely convinced that the only universe to which we need attend is the one within ourselves, and it should be easy to stay in balance with that! In part that comes from the very success of our medical science; we have come far down the road of “rise and walk,” even if we cannot do what Jesus did, and the connection between sin and sickness is cut. Yet there is another paralysis out there, a paralysis of the soul, where each person, charged with creating his or her own best, most authentic life finds that the task is finally impossible. Only the Lord of life can open up opportunities and create meaning in the face of impossibility simply by saying so.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks