He Offers More Than A Band-Aid
I have been studying Mark 2:1-12 this week…where Jesus heals the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof by 4 friends. This passage is rich with insights but there was something that really caught my attention in a fresh way.
Sometimes we come to Jesus looking for Him to heal “the obvious” need that we perceive we have. “I’m paralyzed”. What I really need is to be healed so I can walk. Jesus’ first remarks to this man are, in verse 5, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” This poor guy must have thought he had heard Jesus wrong….my sins? It’s my legs that don’t work!
Jesus perceived this man’s real needs and it involved his heart that needed forgiveness.
How many times have I come to the Lord asking for help with something that has paralyzed me, like worrying about the opinions others have of me. There was a time in my life where my goal was to keep everyone liking me. How exhausting! Some call it being a “people pleaser”, others refer to it as being an “approval addict”. Whatever you call it, this mindset led me to feeling bound up and paralyzed. I constantly lived in fear of rejection. I ran to the Lord for help so I would be able to please people better to keep the peace (like saying ‘please fix my legs!’). I heard Him say instead that my real issue was that I was living to please man and not the Lord. Proverbs 29:25 says that “the fear of man will prove to be a snare but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” He encouraged me instead…to focus on Ephesians 5:10 which states that I should “find out what pleases the LORD.” My focus had been all wrong.
He saw my real need, dealing with the sin of putting others above Him. I asked for His forgiveness for this and began to make it my goal to ask the Lord in different situations, “Lord, what pleases you?” The result was peace…and a new level of freedom in my different relationships.
As I studied this, this Lord gave me a visual that I found cool. Picture being bound head to toe with a thick rope…because sin binds us up just like that so we are unable to move. Jesus comes by and we cry out to Him to come and put a bandaid on our brush burn that we got from trying to free ourselves from the ropes. Instead, Jesus takes a sharp blade and removes the ropes that bound us. He saw our real need.
Hmmm, like the paralyzed man, have you been crying out to the Lord to heal you/set you free from ____________? I encourage you to run to Jesus and ask Him to reveal to you what is really the source of the struggle. Don’t just treat the symptom, let God heal the cause.