Pastor of Christ Fellowship Miami Springs, Omar Gritilli shared a powerful word with our residents on the authority of Jesus to heal. It is not uncommon for prayer meetings to be filled with petitions pertaining to physical healing. Rightly so, there are many among us who are ill, recovering from knee surgery, or who are weakened by old age. The process of aging comes with physical infirmities that many could only wish to be healed from. As the chaplain of Signature HealthCare Center at Waterford, I’m reminded of death and sickness on a regular basis. In caring for my residents, I’m quick to pray for healing and expect a miracle. God undoubtedly cares for the broken hip as much as he cares for the broken heart. Nonetheless, there is also the great need for us to pray for the well-being of our spiritual health. Jesus knows that our greatest need is to heal from the brokenness of sin.
Omar reminded us of the story in The Gospel of Mark Chapter two, verses 1-12, where a paralytic man was healed by Jesus. The story tells us that Jesus was preaching to a great crowd of people. There were four men who were eager to take their paralytic friend to where Jesus was. They must have heard that Jesus had the power and authority to bring healing. Sure enough, Jesus had restored a blind man’s vision, healed a woman who had a bleeding problem for twelve years, and even resurrected a man named Lazarus who was dead for three days. The crowd that was surrounding Jesus did not allow the four men to bring the paralytic through the main entrance because the doors were being blocked from the multitude of people gathered to hear Jesus preach. They did not let this detour them, but instead came up with a plan. These four men made an opening through the roof and lowered the paralytic in front of Jesus. It was at this point in the story where Jesus acknowledged their faith and said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus healed the paralytic, but he chose to first heal him spiritually by forgiving his sins.
It would probably make more human sense for Jesus to heal the paralytic of his physical infirmity before he would forgave him of his sins, right? What then is Jesus trying to teach us here? What’s our greatest need? What is truly important? God does not want to simply deliver us from physical pain, cancer, and fractured knees. He wants to bind our spiritual leprosy and prepare us for the glory that every faith child will experience in Heaven. Celestial ecstasies will exceed the memories of the greatest afflictions that we experienced sojourning earth.
I hope this story encourages us to pray more often for our spiritual condition. Jesus teaches us that our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Jonh 1:9.