Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him.Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.” News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer. One day when Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and legal experts were sitting nearby. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. Now the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal. Some men were bringing a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. They wanted to carry him in and place him before Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they took him up on the roof and lowered him—cot and all—through the roof tiles into the crowded room in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The legal experts and Pharisees began to mutter among themselves, “Who is this who insults God? Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus recognized what they were discussing and responded, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? Which is easier — to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”— Jesus now spoke to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, get up, take your cot, and go home.” Right away, the man stood before them, picked up his cot, and went home, praising God. All the people were beside themselves with wonder. Filled with awe, they glorified God, saying, “We’ve seen unimaginable things today.”
Food For Thought:
“To go where healing love is needed, and give it in a way in which it can be received, often means acting in the teeth of our own interests and preferences, even religious interests and preferences. Christ risked his reputation for holiness by healing on the Sabbath; he touched the unclean and dined with the wrong people; he accepted the love and companionship of a sinner (that most wonderful of all remedies for the wounds of sin). He loved with God’s love and so went straight to the point: What can I do to restore my fellow creature and how?” –From The Light of Christ by Evelyn Underhill
Jesus, what can I do? What can I do to restore my neighbor? How can I do it? You are a God who can do unimaginable things! How can I live into your healing love? How do I need to be healed? How can I help heal? I’m filled with awe by you and your works! Show me the unimaginable! Help me open the eyes of others to your wonder! Amen.