Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Greatest Miracle

In my devotions yesterday morning, I reread the all familiar story of the paralytic whose friends took him to the roof of the home Jesus was visiting, and tore out the roof as to lower him down, directly in front of Christ that he might be healed. (See Luke 5;17-26)

The man and his friends went to receive healing. Forgiveness may not have been what they were after, they were after wholeness, and they saw wholeness in a physical sense. Jesus knew the man needed complete and total healing; physical & spiritual—he received it all.

Jesus “saw their faith”- he saw them do something considered radical to get to Him, to get their friend to Him; an act of faith. They tore the roof off of a house, for goodness sake! Something easily repaired perhaps, but their friend was not as easily repaired and required radical measures to get him to Jesus.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees seemed to miss it all. They were so hung up on the fact that Jesus said the man’s sins were forgiven that it looks as though they missed the miracle entirely.

When I read passages like this I ask myself, “Were healings of that magnitude so common place that the chief priests were immune to seeing them when they happened?” Was this miracle, a man being able to take up his bed and walk after being paralyzed, such a common everyday occurrence that they shrugged it off and chose to dwell instead on the law, or the breaking of it instead?

Maybe the Pharisees and the Sadducees saw this man as someone of no value, unclean. Maybe they considered this miracle wasted on someone like that.

Whatever their thinking, they missed not only the miracle of this man’s physical body being restored, but the healing of his spirit through his encounter with Jesus Christ. He was reborn at that moment as a new man. Someone who I am quite sure became a follower of Christ.

Do we do that as good followers of Jesus, church goers, who have sat in the pew for years? Do we focus on the law and the breaking of it more than we look at the miracle? Not only did the Pharisees and the Sadducees miss the miracle, but they missed the forgiveness of sin. They refused to accept the free gift of God—Salvation—through Jesus Christ!

Do I accept the forgiveness of sin? Or am I like the Pharisees and Sadducees and refuse to accept the fact that God forgives the sins of everyone? Do I get so hung up on the law that I miss the miracle of forgiveness?

I realize that forgiveness, God’s forgiveness, through Jesus Christ is the greatest miracle He ever performed. Forget the Red Sea, the manna, water from a rock, and axe head floating, the sun standing still. Forgiveness through Jesus Christ is the greatest miracle God ever performed on our behalf………I don’t ever want to miss it!

God is walking me down some new and unfamiliar roads right now, and He is allowing me to see right before my eyes, His grace and His mercy, His compassion and His desire to restore and forgive us his children. I’m learning to see things anew, and not miss the miracle or the salvation that it brings.