Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE POWER THAT FORGIVES IS THE POWER THAT HEALS

 

In Luke 5:17-26 we see Jesus retiring to his own home. (Mark 2:1) He probably was there trying to refresh himself from his extensive ministry missions. The people of the area, and the surrounding areas, came to his home to hear him teach. Even the Doctors of the Law, and the Pharisees came to his place to hear him minister. Logically we must assume that some of these men believed in Jesus, and valued what he was teaching. But most of these men did not. We know through previous encounters with these men, that they were some of Jesus’ strictest opponents. They were always trying to find fault, angry with, and looking for an accusation to hold against him. With all the problems Jesus had with them, he still allowed them into his own home, bad attitude and all. I imagine the atmosphere in that house that day was one of fear, indecisiveness, and division. Even though the people of the area came to Jesus, they still must have been vary cautious not to respond to Him, because of the Doctors of the Law and Pharisees being present. Now the text tells us that Jesus was teaching. It does not give us the details, but I would suggest He was probably teaching from Isaiah 61 which we read about in Luke 4:18 that reveals His purpose for ministry, and the authority that God has given him. The Bible then tells us in verse 17 that the power or authority of the Lord was present to heal. Yet no one was receiving their healing. Even though this power was present, no one in that house that day was benefiting from it. This should tell us that God does not need our faith, or agreement to have his power available. In fact Gods authority to save and heal is always available for us especially when the ministry of the Word is in operation. At this point, some people who were determined to get a friend of theirs to Jesus, decided to climb up on His roof, tear a hole big enough to lower a man down into the midst before Jesus. In Luke 5:20 (KJV) we read how Jesus responded to this event. “And when he saw their faith…” Jesus could have interpreted this tearing of his roof and ceiling in many different ways. He could have saw the damage they did, and how much work and expense it would be to repair it. He could have interpreted this event as being selfish and self centered. Instead Jesus saw it as an act of faith. It took a faith in the Lord by that man and those who helping him, to be let down in the middle of His sermon to reach Jesus. Now Jesus knowing that the power or the authority of the Lord to heal was present, spoke directly to this mans heart. “…he said to him, Man thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Luke 5:20 KJV) Why did Jesus speak this to the man? Why didn’t he just ask him what he wanted, or why didn’t he just heal the man? After all, again the power of the Lord was present to heal. Jesus must have known the condition of that mans heart. Again, the man probably thought that the reason he was in this predicament was because of some sin that he had committed, not to mention he just ruined the Lords roof. Jesus ministered to the root of this mans belief system. He relieved him of the condemnation and guilt he was feeling. He literally took the power of the Lord that was present to heal, and forgave this man his sin! Now this just contradicted the Pharisees and Doctors of the Laws theology. They began to reason among themselves and began to say that this was blasphemy. We take for granted the phrase, “I forgive you” in our culture. But back then, they literally believed that only God can forgive sins. Jesus introduced a new concept and explained to them through demonstration, that the Son of man has power and authority to forgive sins, and turned to the man who was sick and said “I say unto thee, Arise and take up thy couch and go into thine house.” (Luke 5:24 KJV) Jesus took that same power that was present to heal that He just used to forgive the man his sin, and healed his body. The Bible says that immediately he rose up before them, glorifying God. This should tells us that the same power and authority that is available to heal, is also the same power and authority that is available to forgive us our sins! Forgiveness of sins, and the healing of our bodies always glorifies God. Unforgiveness, and sickness does not! Only one person that day received forgiveness, and healing. It was the man who believed. The central truth or message in this story is this: The same power of God that forgives sins, is the same power of God that heals our bodies. Its only through faith in Jesus that we are able to receive forgiveness of our sins, and healing for our bodies.