Life is busy, isn’t it? Sometimes it seems that we can hardly get a moment’s rest. While it is great to labor in God’s vineyard, now and again we must rest, if for no other reason to stave off burnout. Hey, even God rested on the seventh day! The author of Hebrews reminds us of that today in our first reading from Hebrews 4. God will grant us rest when we have faith and are obedient to Him.
In the Gospel reading today from Mark 2, Jesus heals a paralytic that is lowered down to Jesus through the roof of the house in which Jesus is teaching. What is the first thing that Jesus says to them man? “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Naturally this caused a bit of a ruckus amongst the scribes present. They wondered who this Jesus thought He was, as only God can forgive sins. So Jesus asks them a couple of questions and then says to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” The man got up and walked out of the house. He was physically healed on the spot.
Notice the order in which Jesus healed the man. His first order of business was to forgive his sins – to heal his spiritual malady. Jesus knew that, although the paralytic needed physical healing, there was something much deeper that needed to be healed first. Again and again that was Jesus’ M.O. He took care of the people’s spiritual needs first and foremost, without neglecting their physical needs. Jesus wants to do the same for you and me. While we can and certainly should pray for physical healing, we must recognize that we have a greater need of spiritual healing that needs to be dealt with first. Let’s not ask for one without the other.
Father, we bring to Jesus all of our needs, spiritual and physical. We ask for His healing touch on us in every area of our lives. Amen.