And after getting into a boat Jesus crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings. Matthew 9:1-8
We humans can be paralyzed in many ways. Physically we can lose the ability to walk or move on our own. We can also be paralyzed with fear, guilt or shame. And we can often be judged by others to be a failure because we cannot rise up or rise above it on our own. In truth we cannot do much of anything on our own. We love our fiction, our fantasy of independence and self reliance. Yet we cannot thrive alone, no matter what stories we tell, what fictions we weave.
Jesus encounters a paralyzed man. This man aches to be healed and yet has not been. Everything has been done for him. He is ashamed of his dependence, he feels himself a failure and a reject. It is to ones like him who Jesus comes to, and to whom God's love come now. Jesus forgives his sins and frees him from hims paralysis. Liberated from all that has bound him, he is truly grateful and those looking on can't help but seek that love as well.
Today I ask God to help me seek the love of God as I put my arrogance and independence aside. May we all cling to the one who can forgive us and heal us today, bringing that same love to those who are paralyzed and broken in this world now.