Jesus the Healer
Jesus encounter with the paralytic (Mark 2:1–12) is a tremendously interesting moment in His ministry. It’s so important that all three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) record it.
What’s also interesting is what happens immediately following this event. Both Matthew and Luke indicate that on the same day, “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him” (Matthew 9:9). Somewhere, along the way to the sea (Mark 2:13), He called Matthew.
What’s interesting is that Matthew is one of the least likely people to become one of Jesus close followers. He made his wealth from cheating people (in Capernaum, this meant a lot of fishermen) and submitting to the hated Roman authority.
Matthew must have been a man under conviction. He must have needed Jesus’ healing touch.
Many commentators speculate that Matthew’s office was near the place where the paralytic was healed. Matthew may have even been a witness to what happened, or been told by people who were there and part of the commotion.
In any case, Matthew was convicted. He was fed up with is cheating, sinful life and knew he needed healing of the soul. He needed forgiveness and cleansing.
He also must have sensed Jesus’ authority to help him. He yearned to be free from sin and he must have known in his heart that Jesus was the one from whom he could receive exactly what he needed. Scripture tells us that he immediately responded to Jesus call. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t consult with anyone. He went and followed Jesus.
Matthew and the paralytic have some things in common:
- Both men were seen as “unclean” either by physical defect or occupation.
- Both men are healed spiritually.
- Both men responded immediately.
- Both men packed up what they had.
- Both men left behind their “old” selves and began new lives of faith
- Both men received the healing power of Jesus and followed Him. One followed His instructions and picked his bed and walked. The other walked with Him through the events of the cross and on to write a major Gospel that has changed the lives of millions of people worldwide.
These men heard the call. They responded, not by because they were grated a deep wish, but because Jesus healed them spiritually. He revealed a deeper, more inner need—for Jesus himself.
Jesus had the power to heal a man’s body, but more importantly, He has the power to heal our lives. The paralytic felt it in the moment and Matthew heard about it and felt it a few moments later. Jesus healed what needed to be healed.
Are you open to the genuine healing only Jesus can bring?