“‘But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’” Mark 2:10-11
It’s human nature to focus on our physical needs. Our attention gets pulled to things like financial difficulties or chronic illness. But the things that cause us to cry can also cause us to cry out to the Lord. And in those moments He often points to spiritual issues that are far more important than the current physical issue. In other words, your problem isn’t your problem.
In today’s passage, four people helped someone who couldn’t help himself. You see, their friend had a problem—he couldn’t walk. So, they brought him to Jesus to be healed. Jesus, however, pointed out that his spiritual problem was a deeper issue than his physical problem. Don’t miss this…the man’s spiritual problem was solved because he had a physical problem.
Likewise, our sufferings are sometimes the very things that drive us to Jesus; and He always points out our real problem. At this point we have a choice between dealing with the spiritual issue or focusing only on the physical problem. The latter is disobedience. Obeying Jesus will allow you to achieve what you’ve never achieved before, “get up, pick up your pallet and go home” (v11).
Addressing the spiritual issue doesn’t mean the physical issue will always go away. That’s a wrong motive for doing the right thing. Keep in mind, this man didn’t ask to be healed after Jesus forgave his sin. Grace and forgiveness always put things in perspective. When we get our hearts right our attitude changes, too.
Is God using a physical need to point out a spiritual need in your life? What problem is dominating your attention? Has it revealed a lack of trust in the Lord or a weak prayer life? Then your problem is not your problem. As a follower of Jesus, choose to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Refocus your attention on Christ and Him alone. Ask Him to give you an eternal perspective on the issue at hand. Then trust Him to do what only He can do.