Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who Forgives Our Iniquities, and Heals Our Diseases?

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:2-5

I was thinking about these verses yesterday (largely because I was singing a song that contains this passage), and As I was singing the words, a situation in the life of Yeshua came to mind. There is an interesting narrative in Luke's gospel, chapter 5. In it we read the following:

 "On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the man who was paralyzed--"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home."And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen extraordinary things today." Luke 5:17-26.

I find it interesting that when the man is brought before Yeshua, his need is quite obvious - yet Yeshua's first words to him are "your sins are forgiven." Now, I think many of us have heard sermons regarding this passage, and the fact that the man's greater need was forgiveness, and thus, Yeshua addresses his greater need first. We've heard as well that this was a demonstration of Yeshua before the Pharisees present that He was, in fact, the Messiah, with the authority of YHVH behind Him. And I believe both of those are reasonable, good explanations for Yeshua's response to Him to first grant forgiveness of sins to the paralyzed man, and then healing him after afterward. But I wonder if there was another, deeper intent as well.

The Psalm that I began with, Psalm 103, verses 2 through 5 say to bless the LORD (literally, bless YHVH), who forgives all of our iniquities, and heals all our diseases. Notice the order - 1) YHVH forgives our iniquities and, 2) heals our diseases. And who does this? The LORD (Yahweh) does! Is it possible that Yeshua was demonstrating that He was/is Yahweh in the flesh?

Perhaps. Just thought I'd share yesterdays musings.

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