Helpers, Hinderers, and Healers come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes our sin can paralyze us from asking for Healing. Which is harder? To forgive sin, or heal sickness. The answer might surprise you. It is found in the bible, and yet, therapist, life-coaches, psychiatrist, and psychologist make money tending to the symptoms of a sick heart.
Proverbs 18:14 The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 He that cools his anger is a healer of his heart, and envy is the decay of the bones.
Proverbs 18:19-21 A brother offended is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled ; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
These scriptures are a springboard for a different direction than that is normally taken when they are used in teaching. But, I will spend a moment going the usual route because it is fundamental in our walk with Jesus. Looking at the scriptures, you can see the parallels of sickness vs. health, crushed spirit vs. happy heart. The last scripture gives a good indication of how our spirit can become crushed. It is when one hurts or offends us. The closer the brother, the deeper the wound. Those that we were supposed to be able to trust or be safe with that hurt us, have the ability to crush a spirit. Many people speak of their broken heart, and actually confirm the last part of Pr 18:21 "the tongue has the power of life and death." That is called feeding an old wound, and if we do not receive justice, see revenge, or get an apology, we tend to invite rottenness and sickness to our own body.
If you are an Christian dealing with unforgivness, I would recommend spending time in prayer and reading God's word to help you take that step of forgiveness to any and all of those that have harmed you, crushed your spirit, or broken your heart. Do not continue to allow your heart to be locked up in a citadel with bars and chains. How can the supply of food, and medicine be delivered if you have locked yourself away in hate, distrust, and anger? Seek a brother or sister in Christ that will intentionally deliver joyful, and life giving words to help you walk through healing.
These scriptures also indicate the different kind of people we will meet in life that will either , help you to get to the Healer, or keep you from his presence. Who is our healer?
Let's read in Mark 2 to investigate what Jesus did for a man I have imagined paralyzed by the shame of his sin. As you read, look for helpers and hinderers. Ask yourself where have you hindered yourself and others. Ponder moments, God sent you a helper.
Mark 2 When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? “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.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this."
Jesus thinks differently than us. Thank God! There was a man that needed healing, and his four friends made a way for him to get to Jesus. The text doesn't tell us that Jesus looked at the paralytic and had compassion on his sickness, but that he saw the FAITH of the friends that had made a way to get this man to him. Their faith compelled Jesus to say something, and again it is not what we would think he would say. His friends came to him for healing, and visually you could see he was paralyzed, but he did not say, "be healed." He said:
Child, your sins are forgiven.
The different names in other translations are "son" and "friend." The faith of the four helpers compelled Jesus to forgive the sins of this man, and acknoweledge him as a son, child, or friend. The text does not tell us the history of the friend's sin, or his desire to be healed, but Jesus' motive behind his first declaration reveals a lot. I imagine this man's spine (ability to stand and walk) as hisspirit. His spirit may have been crushed by the shame of his own sin, or crushed by the sin of unforgiveness. Either way, he was paralyzed by sin. I can see him on his own bed hearing about the Son of God doing miracles. His friends probably suggested that the friend should go see this Jesus. If he had been overwhelmed by hurt, or shame in his sin, he probably recoiled at the idea of lying helpless before the Messiah. His friends confident that their buddy was good enough to receive healing from God, excitedly devised a plan to make the trip and carry him to Jesus They were totally unaware of his doubts that God would heal such a vile sinner. His sin had hindered him, and his friend's faith compelled Jesus to forgive the man without even asking.
Is that a preposterous idea?
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitudeof sins.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs
John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
The atonement for sin comes from the sacrifice of Jesus. Confessing our sin as an individual and believing on him allows for us to be born again and have relationship. NO, we can't go get baptized in the name of Jesus in the place of someone that never repented and earn them a place in glory. But the intense love we have for the sick,crushed, or needy sinner, can wrangle their heart permeable enough to receive the life giving message of Jesus. The intense love we have for another that carries the sick sinner to the altar of God, gets his attention. Jesus' love and atonement for us allows him to make a way for us to the Father in the spirit of reconciliation. We are ambassadors of Christ that are called to be helpers of those in need of healing. There is supernatural power in a believer forgiving someone without asking. It helps loosen them from the chains of sickness, addiction, and sin.
Helpers have faith that Jesus can heal the neediest of sinners, and their intense love compels Him to act.
Hinderers know the word of God, are generally given a platform because of assumed wisdom, and can hinder bystanders, and the needy from receiving healing and forgivness. The scribes were pondering in their heart how Jesus could forgive sin, and why he would say that because it is God alone that forgives sin. Jesus knew in his spirit what they were pondering, and called them out on it. What was really taking place was their denial that Jesus was God in flesh. He asked them a question proverbs eludes to (sick body versus crushed spirit), and said, "Which is easier? Forgiving sin, or healing the sick?" He gets real trippy and says "So you know that the son of man has the authority to Forgive sins " he turned to the paralytic and said "Get up pick up your mat and go home."
He healed for them to know that He could forgive. God is so cool.
There is a correlation with confessing sin so that you can be forgiven and or healed. We are commanded to confess our sin and ask Elders to pray for us, so that we can be healed, but that should be taken in the spirit of the law and not held as law. There are many people that are so bound by their sin and hate, unless someone else with the fortitude to forgive, gets intense with theirlove for Jesus and his lost children, people will not be able to find their way to the cross. Helpers have a desire for the sick to be healed, and their faith will rip the roof off of a house to help someone that can't help themselves.
Hinderers will scoff and argue on a preset of rules and absolutes on how someone should be allowed in the presence of Jesus. They will quote the mythical scripture "God helps those who helps themselves," and never be able to cite it. Hinderers will pass by those paralyzed by their sin every time and the sinner will stay in a condition that keeps them from walking to the Savior.
We can't get dogmatic about ways to bring sinners or the sick to Christ. What worked in one generation, may not apply to the next. Some people have been set free of addiction instantaneously, and that person's testimony is slapped on every other case that comes in the door. "Just lay it down at the altar. You must not be serious about it. You went back to it. Just go to the altar." If all we want to want to do is be the traffic director, instead of the usher that will get the gurney, wheel chair, or stretcher and carry the dead weight, we are a hinderer. Jesus looked on the man and I believe he understood that he was broken in the depth of his heart over sin.
Hebrews 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Vs.5 And have you forgotten the encouragement addressed to you as sons? "My son, do not scorn the Lord's discipline or give up when he corrects you."
Hinderers, like the scribes, fear Jesus will take away their status and power to teach others. If someone comes to complete freedom, hinderers lose their ability to brag, judge, or be appreciated , because it is God alone who forgives. They will focus on the symptoms of the sickness, and treat the symptoms of sin so that they are constantly needed. If the cold is never healed, the runny nose keeps on dripping. Hinderers will remind people of their paralyzed state, and how helpless they are, and complain of the heavy burdenof lifting others and pronounce how things will never change.
Helpers know when it is time to let go of the mat and lay the person in front of Jesus. Their faith gives them strength to let go and let God. Sometimes we want our friend to be healed, and sometimes Jesus has to forgive the sin first, because the paralysis was a symptom.
Do you have someone that needs healing in their heart, or body? Do they know Jesus? Let your intense love for them and faith compel him to act.
Are you paralyzed by your sin? Are you overwhelmed with the thought Jesus would turn away if he knew what you have done, or that your friends would not be so confident in you? Take heart. Just as God knew what the scribes reasoned in their hearts, Jesus knew the paralytic's sin before he was ever lowered through the roof, and his words were "Child, your sin is forgiven."