THE GREAT PHYSICIAN & a little Cinderella
Jesus said, "Get up, take your mat and go home."
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 9:1-8. NIV (New International Version)
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town, Capernaum. Some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."
At this some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!"
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk?' But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And, the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.
The words of Jesus in His first sentence above sound as though the man's sickness was the direct result of sin. Some Jews during that era believed that was true.
However, the 9th chapter of John describes a conversation between Jesus and His disciples. The disciples saw a man blind from birth and asked Jesus if the cause was the sin of the man or the man's parents. Jesus answered NEITHER. He added that it happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
Then Philippians 2:30 gives another reason. Epaphroditus had been sent to help Paul and became ill from overwork. Paul was also sick. When they were both well, Paul sent his friend back home along with a letter.
I also read that Pastor Gary Fraley* believed sickness was divided into three categories:
Chastisement. - the Lord could communicate the reason (we could repent)
Glory of God. - oh, may this be our focus, Lord!
Death - but we may not know the answer for some time
I would like to share one more reason I found in A Doctor's Casebook**.
It's too long to type so I will sum it up.
A young woman was treated badly in her childhood, much as 'Cinderella' was.
Psychological damage was compounded by continual hardness of her parents hearts and she fell ill. An outraged neighbor took her to a doctor who discovered an advanced stage of TB. The first night in a sanatorium she overheard the doctor describing a pessimistic future for herself.
Lying awake, for the first time she had an experience of God. While the moon was streaming in the window, she became convinced with certainty that there was a God and He loved her. In addition, she knew she was going to get well. The next morning she ate well for the first time in months. The doctor was astounded. She told him she had heard his dismal opinion of her recovery but that God had made her certain she would get better.
Scientific proof came from the lab - a definite improvement in her blood. The doctor returned to her and asked for more details. She told him she had suddenly been able to forgive a person against whom she had a nasty grudge. She felt as though she could now say 'Yes' to life and 'Yes' to God.
The article ended with a quote from portions of Proverbs 4:20, 22:
"My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
For they are life to those who find them & health to a man's whole body."
*From Heaven's View Workbook p 10
**A One Evening Condensed Book by Paul Tournier p 29