Posted by: Dan | January 26, 2005

Confessions of a Paralytic

I've often said that I feel like Jesus' disciples around the time of Peter's confession. Yes, I get that Jesus is the Messiah but I'm still unpacking what that means. It's like the miracle that immediately precedes that account. Jesus heals the blind man the first time and he only sees people “like trees walking around”. So Jesus heals him a second time so that the blind man can see properly. Well, I've often said I feel like I'm at the stage of seeing walking trees.

However, I stumbled on another way of looking at things.

I was reading the story where Jesus is speaking in a house and a paralysed man is lowered down (through the roof… poor home-owner!) in front of him. Jesus looks at the man and says, “Take heart, your sins are forgiven.” Of course everybody is astounded that he would presume to forgive sins and so he asks, “What is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'rise up and walk'?” Yet Jesus does demonstrate his authority to forgive sins by healing the paralysed man.

I've been thinking of myself as that paralytic. I feel that I've heard the first affirmation, yes, my sins are forgiven. Not simply in some other-worldly sense of a ticket out of hell, but in the sense that I have been restored into right relationship with God. Yet I'm still awaiting the second part, “take up your mat and walk”. I'm still figuring out how this right relationship with God translates into right relationship with others in the contemporary context.

Yet this is a more encouraging model than the first one. To begin with there is a sense of joy attached – a relationship has been restored. There is also a sense of assurance. The second statement will follow the first. In a sense this way of looking at things provides more freedom along the way. It is liberating because ultimately it is awaiting God's action, the in-breaking of God's creative Word. It allows me to recognise where I am paralysed, and to be okay with my impotence to overcome that paralysis. After all, it's only a temporary thing. I will continue to cry to God and rest in the assurance that one day I will discover myself walking. Not only walking but dancing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: