Today, I met the man from Nazareth. I think his name is Jesus; however, people are calling him many different things. Some call him teacher, master, or Lord. Others think he is a prophet, a holy man, or the Messiah. The Pharisees think he is a blasphemer. I am not exactly sure who this man is, but today I call him my forgiver and healer.
I live in Capernaum and several years ago, I had a diving accident in the Lake of Gennesaret which left my body paralyzed. My life radically changed that day, and I often wondered how could this happen to me. Many people think this happen to me because of sins I committed against God. They may be right because I never really followed God and his commandments. Nevertheless, I have many friends who prayed to God for my healing, but I still struggled with believing in God. My encounter today with Jesus changed everything.
Since I can not move, I spend most days on my bed dependent on others to feed me and wash me. My days are usually filled with the same scheduled routines, but today my faithful friends came dashing into my home and carried me on my bed out into the streets. I kept asking them, “What is going on?” “Where are you taking me?” They gave me brief, hurried responses. Something about a miracle man arriving in Capernaum. They kept saying, “this man is for real; he will heal you.” When we arrived at the home where he was speaking, there was a large crowd and my friends could not get me close to him. I saw the love and concern in my friends’ eyes, and they were not going to give up. One of my friends located a stairway to the roof, so they carried me up. Once we arrived on the roof, my friends began to demolish the tiling. I told them to stop because they were damaging someone’s house. They were not concerned because they were absolutely convinced that if they got me close to the miracle worker, then he would heal me. They assured me that they would fix the roof later. They smiled and said that after the man healed me, I would be able to help fix the house. I laughed nervously, and then they lowered me down before Jesus.
Jesus looked at me and said, “man, your sins are forgiven you.” I heard this and did not quite understand what he meant, but I was happy with the thought and even experienced something changing in my soul. While Jesus began to discuss his statement with the scribes and pharisees, I looked at my friends and saw confusion and disappointment on their faces. What just happen? Am I not going to be healed? The conversation between Jesus and the synagogue leaders continued with heated exchanges, but the next thing I experienced was Jesus telling me to “arise, take up my bed and go back to my house.” I wanted to say, “Pardon me?” “Can you say that again?” “Did I hear you correctly?” But instead, I felt strength in my body and stood up, grabbed my bed and left, just as he instructed me.
I am walking again. I am healed. My soul is cleansed. Jesus changed my life. Everything is new. I am truly blessed. I do not know how to respond to such newness and blessing. This is weird, strange, almost too good to be true. Thoughts flood my mind, What does the future behold? What do I do next? What if the new strength fades away? I have to push all these thoughts aside and do the only thing I really can do. Glorify God! Believe in His goodness and greatness! Walk in His newness and blessing!