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Christ Heals a Man Paralyzed by the Gout. Mark 2:4. Engraving by Bernhard Rode, 1780. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rode_1.jpg

As we look at the Red Letters today, I want to stick with this story we have been talking about all week. Today I want to observe two interesting facets in Jesus’ healing ministry.

"But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”--then He said to the paralytic--“Rise, take up your bed, and go home.” ~ Matthew 9:6

So, I want to be more like Jesus, in the way I do everything. Don’t you?

Have you ever noticed that Jesus never prayed for the sick? He did not pray and ask God to do something. In fact Jesus tells us specifically how He does what He does.

Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.  ~ John 5:19 (NKJV)

So, according to Jesus, rather than pray for God to heal this sick man, Jesus looks at what the Father is doing, and acts as the hands of God on earth to bring about what the Father is doing in heaven.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do think we need to pray, but perhaps the prayer we should be praying is “Lord, help me see what you are doing right here and right now.” [Tweet this] Of course then we might find ourselves making mud out of our spit, or writing in the dirt, or even declaring that someone’s sins are forgiven.

The second observation I want to make is that He often adds a call to action to His ministry.

I know when someone comes to me for prayer, there are times when I ask God to do something in their life, and I walk away hopeful.

Jesus expected and inspected. He ministered in whatever way He saw the Father ministering, and then checked it out with a call to action.

Rise, take up your bed, and go home.

One time in our home group, during a time of prayer we prayed for the shoulder of one of our members. We laid our hands on her, and then we just went on with the meeting. Later that evening she was talking and pointed up in the air for some reason, I don’t remember that part, but what I will never forget is the look on her face when she realized all the pain in her shoulder was gone.

We laughed and rejoiced, but I realized that we should have inspected right away to see what the Lord had done, so we could have given Him the glory due Him sooner.

When you pray for someone to be healed, I encourage you to ask them to do what they could not do before.

There is an account in Jesus ministry where He ministered to a man who was blind, and when He asked Him if He could see, the once blind man said:

I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about. ~ Mark 8:24

Then check out what happens next:

Then again He (Jesus) laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. ~ Mark 8:25

The Son of God, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, needed to touch this man twice in order to fully heal him.

If He (Jesus) had prayed or ministered once and walked away, the man would have been better off than before, but still impaired. Jesus stuck with Him and saw it through.

So perhaps, though I only promised two observations, we have a bonus observation before us.

Don’t quit!

Let’s recap.

  1.  See what the Father is doing. Let your prayer be, for your own sight, and partnership with the Father’s hand.
  2. Check for results
  3. Don’t just move on, if your first attempt at ministry is unsuccessful or does not bring the results you were looking for.

One last caveat, if in the end your ministry does not change the circumstance, realize there are many factors at play, way more than we can understand. Be sure the person you are praying for has been loved, and is not left feeling condemned or worse off than you found them. Does that make sense?

Ben NelsonHey, thanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

By the way, if you missed the first hand account of this day in Jesus life, you should check out "Arise, Take up your bed and walk"

Stack of BiblesAfter telling of the healing and deliverance of all the sick in the town of Capernaum, Matthew gives us a tiny little Messianic Bible Study.

He takes the events of the day, and applies them to what we know as Isaiah 53:4.

And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” ~ Matthew 8:16-17

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted. ~ Isaiah 53:4

Allow me just a little bit of word study: (feel free to skip this part if you really don’t want the details.)

The Hebrew word that is translated griefs here in the NASB (khol·ē' – pretty much pronounced ‘holy’ only with that gruff throat noise at the beginning) shows up about 24 times in the bible, and 19 times it is translated either sickness or disease. In the lexicon used in BlueLetterBible.org the only offering for translation is ‘sickness.’

The Hebrew word that is translated sorrows here in the NASB (mak·ōve' – pronounced like mac, as in Big Mac or mac and cheese, and ov, as in over – only again you need that guttural kind of chuffing on the c in mac) (do you even care?) This one is most often translated sorrows, but all the definitions relate to pain, though this pain can be physical or mental.

Thanks – now back to the post:

What fascinates me, is that, in my evangelical upbringing, I was taught on a regular basis that what Jesus did on the cross, and what was prophesied here by Isaiah was about my spiritual well being.

And yet, when Matthew, the great pointer outer of fulfilled prophecies, points out this one, he is applying it to physical healings and the casting out of demons.

Why make a fuss about this? Well, I have to say that when my understanding of this scripture, and others, turned from a strictly spiritual interpretation, to a ‘whole man,’ spirit soul and body interpretations, my prayers changed, and the results changed.

When I began to believe that the price Jesus paid and the salvation Jesus purchased was for the whole man, was not simply a path to eventual restoration of health and wholeness someday when we die, but could be pursued here and now, it changed my life.

Hey – there is plenty I don’t understand, and many times I see saints suffer and die in sickness and disease, and please hear me, that is not a reflection on them, or on their community of faith. There is so much more to our world than what we currently see or perceive.

I do understand this – everyone they brought to Jesus, was healed. Every account recorded in scripture of people coming to Jesus while he walked the earth ended with a person made whole. [Tweet This] Not every sick person in all of Judea, but at least every sick person in Capernaum.

This story blows my mind. I really want to be like Jesus. Don’t you?

Lord, today I want to be more like You. I want to walk like You walked, and do the works that You did, and the greater works You promised.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.

Ben

And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” ~ Matthew 8:16-17

Let me recap:

It’s is the Sabbath (we know this from Luke 4.) I said the other day that it was the same day He made His declaration, but I must correct that. This was actually the day He cast out a demon in Church (OK Synagogue.)

He and some of the boys headed over to Peter and Andrew’s house and Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.

Next we see this:

When evening had come

Or as Luke puts it in

While the sun was setting ~ Luke 4:40

The folks in these good Jewish communities waited till the sun was setting, until the Sabbath was over and then they got to Jesus just as quick as they could.

Luke tells us:

all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him ~ Luke 4:40

So in the town of Capernaum when Jesus left, if I am doing the math right, there was no one left in the city either sick or demon possessed! They brought them all to Jesus, and He healed them all.

Do you have someone to bring to Jesus today?

Don’t wait for the sun to set – let’s carry them to Jesus now!

Lord, I am so glad that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. We bring our sick, our broken, our lost to You today, and ask that You touch, You speak the word, You do what You do!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming today.

See you soon

Ben

Jesus just made His stunning announcement in the synagogue that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, He was the Messiah and He was here to:

...PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN,  TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD. ~ Luke 4:18-19

And believe me the place was astir. Here are the three accounts of what happened next from Matthew, Mark and Luke.

And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick in bed with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Him about her, they made request of Him on her behalf. And He came to her and He touched her hand and raised her up, taking her by the hand, He rebuked the fever and the fever left her, and she immediately arose, and she waited on them. ~ Mash up of Matthew, Mark and Luke's telling of this event - for original NASB text see below.

I love how Jesus deals with both Peter's mother-in-law and the fever. You will notice he treats both the person and the sickness. Matthew and Mark speak of His touch, which, I am convinced, is the touch of compassion for Mom. Then Luke tells us, He rebukes the fever.

I have seen people attack sickness with such anger and aggression that the person inside feels abused. This can happen when we offer to pray for someone and start shouting out the sickness, with no regard for the sick. In the end they go away feeling like the sickness is somehow their fault.

Right on the other hand, I have seen folks coddle sickness like it is a favorite pet. We do this with our words - I can't run because of my asthma, my arthritis is acting up - like that.

We must find a way to get more like Jesus. He expresses love for the woman, and simply took command over the disease.

Another small observation here. He speaks directly to the disease, in this case to the symptom. How often do we complain about our plight, rather than address it. He rebuked the fever and it left. [Tweet This] He did not pray for her. He did not call a special meeting. He just loved her and rebuked the sickness.

Lord, I so want to be like you. Give me eyes to see what the Father is doing, ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, hands that touch with compassion, and a mouth to say what I hear you saying.

BenThanks for stopping in.

See you again soon.

Ben

Here are the full texts that make up the mash up above.

And when Jesus had come to Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and waited on Him. ~ Matthew 8:14-15

And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Him about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. ~ Mark 1:29-31

And He arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever; and they made request of Him on her behalf.  And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and waited on them. ~ Luke 4:38-39

14

Jesus just made His stunning announcement in the synagogue that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, He was the Messiah and He was here to:

...PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN,  TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD. ~ Luke 4:18-19

And believe me the place was astir. Here are the three accounts of what happened next from Matthew, Mark and Luke.

And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick in bed with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Him about her, they made request of Him on her behalf. And He came to her and He touched her hand and raised her up, taking her by the hand, He rebuked the fever and the fever left her, and she immediately arose, and she waited on them. ~ Mash up of Matthew, Mark and Luke's telling of this event - for original NASB text see below.

I love how Jesus deals with both Peter's mother-in-law and the fever. You will notice he treats both the person and the sickness. Matthew and Mark speak of His touch, which, I am convinced, is the touch of compassion for Mom. Then Luke tells us, He rebukes the fever.

I have seen people attack sickness with such anger and aggression that the person inside feels abused. This can happen when we offer to pray for someone and start shouting out the sickness, with no regard for the sick. In the end they go away feeling like the sickness is somehow their fault.

Right on the other hand, I have seen folks coddle sickness like it is a favorite pet. We do this with our words - I can't run because of my asthma, my arthritis is acting up - like that.

We must find a way to get more like Jesus. He expresses love for the woman, and simply took command over the disease.

Another small observation here. He speaks directly to the disease, in this case to the symptom. How often do we complain about our plight, rather than address it. He rebuked the fever and it left. [Tweet This] He did not pray for her. He did not call a special meeting. He just loved her and rebuked the sickness.

Lord, I so want to be like you. Give me eyes to see what the Father is doing, ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, hands that touch with compassion, and a mouth to say what I hear you saying.

BenThanks for stopping in.

See you again soon.

Ben

Here are the full texts that make up the mash up above.

And when Jesus had come to Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and waited on Him. ~ Matthew 8:14-15

And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Him about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. ~ Mark 1:29-31

And He arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever; and they made request of Him on her behalf.  And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and waited on them. ~ Luke 4:38-39

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