True Kingdom Wholeness Part 2

Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.
When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
— Luke 5:18-21 NKJV

    So what made the difference between the Pharisees and friends of the paralytic? Both of them got close to Jesus. So it wasn't merely the proximity. So what was it? Faith! Jesus always responds to faith. This is why when people came to Jesus for healing He would often say your faith has made you whole. Faith in His ability. Faith in His power. Faith in His character. Jesus always responded to this with physical healing miracles, because He wanted to teach a much deeper spiritual lesson about salvation. It’s the same thing that Paul taught in Ephesians 2:8, salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus! You see, If you want to experience true Kingdom wholeness, you must understand that…

Jesus is primarily interested in making us spiritually whole through salvation from sin.

    Jesus is concerned about our physical health, but He is more concerned with our spiritual health. He doesn’t just want you physically healthy, while you are on your way to hell!

It's like going to a doctor to get medication for a headache, all the while the doctor is seeing that a brain tumor is causing the headache. Some of us just want God to give us the Band-Aid of physical health, without Him confronting us about our sin (cancer of sin).

    The Bible tells us there was a paralyzed man whose friends we're desperate to bring him to Jesus. But please notice that the crowd around Jesus became an obstacle to this man being healed. Sometimes in a desperate attempt to get into the presence of Jesus we block others that are desperate to get to Him. The things we say, a bad attitude or just how we live can get in the way of a soul looking for Jesus. 

    But I am so grateful that this man had some friends that didn't let the crowd get in the way of the paralytic getting close to Jesus. How many of us are so desperate to see our friends saved that we will pick them up and bring them to grow group or pick them up and bring them to what's happening at church. These friends were so determined to get the paralytic in close proximity to Jesus that they began to break some things up, move somethings out of the way, to the point that they destroyed property just to get their friend close to Jesus. Now I'm not saying we need to go and break peoples property to win a soul, but the story is showing us in vivid detail how critical bringing a soul in need of Jesus is!

    I want you to also notice that when they lowered the paralytic before Jesus they didn’t ask Him for anything. They simply got close to Him with desperate faith. And that is something that Jesus cannot resist. Verse 20 says “When He saw their faith…” Whether that was the faith of the friends only or also the faith of the paralytic, Jesus saw the true need of the man lying in front of Him. And you would expect that the first thing Jesus would do in response to their faith was heal this man of his paralysis. But instead Jesus says, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” What!? What are you doing Jesus? Clearly you can see that what this man needs is to be healed from his paralysis! If I go to a doctor for a fever, the last thing I want to hear is that my sins are forgiven me. I want the cure for the fever. However you do not hear any complaint coming from this man. As a matter of fact, Ellen White commenting on his experience says, “…it was not physical restoration he desired so much as relief from the burden of sin. If he could see Jesus, and receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with Heaven, he would be content to live or die according to God's will.” Desire of Ages p. 267 Not all sickness is brought on by sin, but some are. Just like how I didn't listen to the health Council of my wife and my friend and got sick, the same way sin can result in sickness from disobedience to both spiritual and natural laws. Even doctors have discovered that some sicknesses come as a result of bitterness or unforgiveness in the heart. Ellen White suggests that this man’s sickness came as a result of sin.

    Could it be that some of us are coming to Jesus for surface things and not the main thing that He wants to accomplish for us. What if Jesus is withholding from you what you are asking from Him because He wants you to confess your sins to Him and repent. What if our prayers for people's health and healing were first preceded with prayers for the salvation of their souls to the glory of God. What do you think would happen?

    What is so amazing about Jesus forgiving this man of his sins, is that He did it on purpose, in front of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who didn’t sense their need. Remember Jesus is primarily concerned with saving us from sin. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Jesus loves the Pharisees and wants to save them, and it's the forgiveness of their sins and receiving Him as the Messiah, God in the flesh, that they needed most. He wanted them to get a correct perception of who He was and what He primarily came to do. He knew that forgiving this man’s sins would raise questions about His identity. They new the Scriptures and they knew that only God could forgive sins. A point I wish the papal church understood. If He is merely a man, then He has just blasphemed; a sin punishable by death. So Jesus responds in verse 22…