Long term or short term solutions? Why not both?
Matthew 9 starts out with the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. There is more details about the story in Mark 2 and Luke 5. The mans friends were so determined to get their sick buddy to Jesus that they hauled him up to the roof, made a hole, rigged some ropes, and lowered their buddy down from the ceiling. Kind of like a reverse jewel heist.
“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”’
(Matthews version is underwhelming in suspense and drama. )
I wonder what his friends thought about going through all the trouble to get their buddy to Jesus, only for Jesus to forgive his sin. But the story continues.
“3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.”
My long term problem is the sin that separates me from God. If it isn’t taken care by the time I die I will go to hell. My short term problems, health, wealth (or lack of), clothing, shelter, they are what I pray about, what I worry about, what consumes my focus and energy but the real problem of sin is much more serious.
As I’m writing this I’m listening to an icy wind howling outside. It’s 19 degrees with a 9 mph wind. According to my weather ap It feels like 8 degrees. It reminds me of the harshness of our world and how real our problems are. Life can seem long but it’s measured in years. Death and what comes after? We can’t measure because you can’t measure something that continues forever. Eternity is eternal.
Is it easier for Jesus to heal me or forgive me? Which is more important? Healing seems very important when I’m sick but Since healing will only last my lifetime how important is it? Forgiving my sin will change my life for now and forever.
I am so grateful that I can go to Jesus and be forgiven and ask for healing. I know I will be forgiven, I don’t know if I’ll be healed. I think I’m still getting what’s important.
(Originally posted 2/08/17)