Healing and Forgiveness


When he [Jesus] returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he said to the paralytic- “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)

God has called us not only to individual spiritual formation, but to be formed into communities of faith too. We pray for one another and work for the healing and wholeness of others, just as this paralytic’s four friends help him receive the healing he needs. Jesus connects healing and forgiveness, recognizing that guilt or self-hatred can paralyze our spirit as much as a physical illness or injury can paralyze our limbs.

Dear Lord, only you have the power to heal me and relieve my burdens. With nothing to offer but faith, I come to you with my sin and shame. Please forgive me, heal me, help me to trust, follow, and obey. I want to be holy, as you are. In your name I pray. Amen.

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