The Ministries of our Church
NEW START Lifestyle Club
WALK TO JERUSALEM
FAITH MOVES THROUGH THE ROOF
Cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are some of the most prevalent diseases striking Americans today. But the good news is that many of these diseases can be reversed by making changes in how we live. By walking to Jerusalem we are walking the path to better health.
In the days of Christ, disease also stemmed from lifestyle choices. "Many of those who came to Christ had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them...Among these was the paralytic at Capernaum. His disease was the result of a sinful life and his sufferings were [made bitter] by remorse. In vain he had appealed to the Pharisees and doctors for relief. They pronounced him incurable; they denounced him as a sinner and declared that he would die under the wrath of God" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 73).
How many find themselves in the same condition as the paralytic! When disease or troubles strike, they are often left without hope or faith. But with Jesus, there is always hope! He can heal the sick, encourage the hopeless, and bring peace to our aching hearts.
We do not need to be a doctor or therapist to bring healing to the body and the soul. We can all point others to Jesus, the great Physician and Savior of the world. We can offer them God's hope and peace.
The paralytic had little hope but he heard from his friends about Jesus. Others, just as sick and sinful as he was, had been healed. And that gave him a glimmer of hope. Perhaps Jesus would have compassion on him too! But when he remembered why he was sick, hope dwindled again. If only God would forgive him, he would be happy to live or to die!
So he asked four of his friends to carry him to Jesus. But by the time they reached Christ, the crowds were so thick there was no room to come even within hearing distance of the Savior.
Jesus was teaching in the home of Peter. His disciples sat close by and many of the Pharisees had come, looking for evidence to condemn Him before the law. But most of the crowd were people like the paralytic, those who were longing for the touch of Jesus to heal them of their diseases.
"Again and again the bearers of the paralytic tried to push their way through the crowd, but in vain. The sick man looked about him in unutterable anguish. How could he relinquish hope when the longed-for help was so near? At his suggestion his friends bore him to the top of the house and, breaking up the roof, let him down at the feet of Jesus" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 75).
It must have been quite a surprise for Peter and the other disciples to see a man coming down from the rooftop! But Jesus had been watching the sick man for some time. "It was Christ who had brought conviction to his conscience when he was yet at home. When he repented of his sins and believed in the power of Jesus to make him whole, the mercy of the Savior had blessed his heart. Jesus had watched the first glimmer of faith grow into a conviction that He was the sinner's only helper, and had seen it grow stronger with every effort to come into His presence. It was Christ who had drawn the sufferer to Himself. Now, in words that fell like music on the listener's ear, the Savior said: 'Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.' Matthew 9:2" (ibid, pp. 75-76).
Hope sprang up in the young man's heart. His physical pain fled and he rejoiced in God's peace. No healing was more important to him than to be right with God!
As we work with Jesus as His health evangelists, bringing healing to both the body and soul, one of the most important goals we can have is to encourage others to trust in Jesus. Before the paralytic could be healed, Jesus had to bring "relief to his mind and cleanse the soul from sin" (ibid, p. 76). Because the mind and body are so interconnected, disease often results from chronic stress, grief, worry and other emotional troubles. Others may be burdened with sin and its guilt. So before physical healing can happen, the mind and the spirit must be healed. "The peace which [Jesus Christ] alone can impart [will] restore vigor to the mind and health to the body" (ibid, italics supplied).
As we journey towards Jerusalem, let's follow in the footsteps of Jesus, bringing hope to the sick and the needy, to those who are discouraged and those who feel alone in the world. Let's become ambassadors of hope and peace. And may each of us experience this blessing for ourselves as we walk with Jesus.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
FOR DEEPER BLESSINGS:
* Read Mark 2:1-12
* Read Desire of Ages, pp. 267-271