Fr Abi John
The Miracles of Jesus do convey a message to us beyond healing. Friends, in spite of God’s healing through Christ I am sure that the paralytic man (Luke 5:17-26) no longer lives in the world, is still a puzzle to explore. The truth behind such miracles still convey a range of lucidity of life for our faith journey.
Our God is a Healer and that is our faith, as well our sincere affirmation. God is beyond human comprehension and the human scales which attempts to define God in total is an absolute fallacy. Because the revelation of God/the God touch/the God experience will occur in a context. Such experience will enable us to understand the truth. Truth is God. Truth always triumphs and liberates us from all fallacies of life.
Here, Luke acknowledges the “power of miracle” to God. He believes that “For God Everything is possible”, (reference - and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Luke 5;17b). The healing power is a gift from God and God offers this to the one who does the will of God diligently in faith. Even Jesus once said to his disciples that, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” Jesus has given us the power to heal. We need to affirm it. We are the agents of God to bring healing. Do you believe it? But we must realize that every miracle that occurs cannot have an everlasting effect. It’s temporal and volatile in nature. Then there is an argument why miracles and what do they convey?
We all look for healing in a context of a pandemic outbreak. I strongly believe that God will be our aid for healing and certainly this calamity will come to an end. However, healing is not eternal but a blessing of God which makes us an active agency in our known world. Let us not be scared about the current situation but put our trust in God and this ordeal situation will pass. Let us be consistent in our prayers and build our hopes together in God who is always with us.
Further I like to draw your attention to the question of Jesus, when Pharisees were indignant over the statement of Jesus, “Friend, your sins are forgiven”. What a blessing to be forgiven because the assurance of forgiveness liberates one from her/his guilt and paves a renewal in life! Renewal is important for growth; growth is important for a sustainable action. Otherwise self-pride and closed mindset will block the growth and our faith will be stagnating without worth. Faith is an action in God for people and God is the source of such faith. To be grasped by such faith one needs to have a renewal of thought, word, and deed in God by true repentance. For me true repentance is turning to God with humility and truth. God is always connected to the whole life, to explain in a broader meaning turning to all living things of the world with a sense of responsibility and relativity may help us to define our turning to God.
What would have been the simplest expression or the expectation of such people who are physically challenged? They expect embracing words of hope in a context of chaos and confusion. The Pharisees failed to give hope and Jesus by these words generated positive vibes to that man and addressed him as “Friend”. Wow! A fabulous display of God in the words of Jesus by addressing him as a friend. Jesus is a friend of sinners and physically disabled. God is very much needed for the sinner and not for the holy ones. I mean to say no one is holy, we all fall short of God’s Glory. We all need God.
We can trace a complete paradigm shift in the perception of Jesus compared to the Pharisees. We need to enlarge our mindset by extending the power of God’s embracing love to all, especially to the needy. Quite interestingly this passage fails not to register the four who attempted their maximum strength and imagination in bringing the man to Jesus. Jesus was able to pin their faith as an incredible operating factor. Faith will not remain passive; it is the active force in God and connects people to God and all. God wants to connect everyone as they are and thus the statement, your sins are forgiven, made the man a wholesome one. Later as the gift of god’s Compassion the man got healed.
Here it's not just the miracle but about “a friend” who offers a new life in God is the Truth. Jesus offers a renewal of life who seeks or needs for it.
What a friend we have in Jesus! Amen
If you have time, please sing this song:
What a friend we have in Jesus All our sins and griefs to bear And what a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit Oh, what needless pain we bear All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness Take it to the Lord in prayer