Forgiveness that Heals Your Soul

Light on path

“I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12, NKJV).

There is someone reading this that needs to hear this: Your sins are forgiven you. Look up into Jesus’ caring eyes, and listen to Him telling you again. Let it go deep into your spirit. Your sins are forgiven you, precious one.

I recently revisited the story of the paralytic lowered through the roof before Jesus. There’s more than one thing unusual about this historic event. You’ve probably already thought about how radical it was for this man’s companions to tear a hole in the building to get him to Jesus. However, have you considered how unusual Jesus’ immediate response was?

If you read through the four gospels, Jesus did not make a regular practice out of proclaiming the forgiveness of sins to individuals. Though He spoke of forgiveness to the multitudes, this was one of only a few instances where He personally ministered forgiveness to someone.

I’m thinking that paralytic must have been tormented by guilt. Which leads me to this observation: Do you notice that in all three gospels where this story is told, Jesus notices the faith of the man’s friends? “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’”. (Luke 5:19-20, ESV, bold emphasis mine).

When I read that detail, it strikes me that the sentence doesn’t start out with, “When he saw the paralytic’s faith…” I’m guessing that this wretched man wasn’t feeling very full of faith that day. Maybe he was embarrassed that his friends were going to all that trouble for him, such an unworthy person. I’m guessing that he was plagued by memories of his shameful failures. He very well may have considered them unpardonable. Truth be told, they were literally sucking the life out of his body.

The man’s friends had heard Jesus was a healer. They earnestly desired to see their buddy back on his feet. However, Jesus saw that this lost soul desperately needed something even more critical: relief from the torment of guilt. He needed cleansing from the terrible weight of sin that was extinguishing his spirit. So He looked into the eyes of this immeasurably precious human being, and pronounced what that man was longing for the most… forgiveness.

He healed the paralytic’s soul and spirit before He healed his body. A few moments later when He performed the physical healing too, it really was just a completion of what had already happened. The man’s inner being leapt up first, exploding with the glory of new life. Then the outer man joined in!

Do you, too, need what this man needed? Have you been carrying around with you the terrible weight of guilt? Has the memory of failure been tormenting your soul? Has it been stealing your vitality and joy? Jesus sees you. Just as you are, He loves you more than His own life. And He has provided that which you most long for.

Go ahead. Do it. Look up into His eyes, and find in them the infinite depths of compassion that overflows from His heart for you. Listen to the tenderest tones of His voice as He gently but firmly assures you, “Child, I did it. I paid for those. Fully. Listen and receive this into your heart of hearts. Precious one, your sins are forgiven you.”

Watch as His blood washes them away forever. They are gone. You are clean, sweet child of God. You are forgiven. Leap up and celebrate, because you are forever free!

“So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!” (John 8:36, CJB).

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Have there been times in your life, when you wanted Jesus to help you with a physical issue, and He knew you had a deeper, inner need that was more pressing for Him to meet first?

15 thoughts on “Forgiveness that Heals Your Soul

  1. I have LOVED this story for so long and I have seen it play out in my own life, where the faith of my friends (and family) brought me to the feet of Jesus for healing.

    BTW I just finished watching Many Beautiful Things about the life of Lilias Trotter (free on YouTube). The Missions Board rejected her application to become a missionary in Africa because of her heart condition. But she knew God was calling her, so went anyway and oh the beauty of her laid down life for Jesus, where her physical weakness became proof of God’s power, as she joined Him in His suffering, His breaking heart for the lost.

    I also remember watching a video about the quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada, who realized as she stood at the Bethsaida pools all those years later that God had heard her cry for healing: for He had healed her heart and given her the faith to live in the knowledge of her physical healing in heaven, as He carries her day by day in her physical dependence upon Him for almost everything.

    I see Jesus doing this for me too. That physical healing came miraculously from CPTSD at first – and made me popular amongst believers. But when it was time, God brought fresh triggers of trauma that so humbled me and showed me the beauty of witnessing to His withness in our suffering. It’s then I began to pray for God to keep me weak that He might become my strength more and more and more. He has been honoring that cry He gave me. Now, my heart condition is teaching me perserverance (returning and resting in Him) and is leaving me in tears – repeatedly- as He is revealing His compassion to me and bringing forth fresh intercession from the heart of Jesus for us all in that place.

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    1. I’m back (again!) Getting caught up once again after my visitor from the U.S. returned home (her visit was an amazing blessing that also made me teary. God is so good!) Thank you, sweet Anna, for sharing the precious milestones of your journey with Jesus. Each one is of eternal worth!

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  2. Oh my! And just look at my reading in Streams of the Desert devotional by LB Cowman today 😭:

    Your heavenly Father knows. (Matthew 6:32)
    A visitor at a school for the deaf was writing questions on the board for the children. Soon he wrote this sentence: “Why has God made me able to hear and speak, and made you deaf?”

    The shocking sentence hit the children like a cruel slap on the face. They sat paralyzed, pondering the dreadful word “Why?”

    And then a little girl arose. With her lip trembling and her eyes swimming with tears, she walked straight to the board. Picking up the chalk, she wrote with a steady hand these precious words:
    “Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure” (Matt. 11:26).

    What a reply! It reaches up and claims an eternal truth upon which the most mature believer, and even the youngest child of God, may securely rest—the truth that God is your Father.

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    1. I do long for the day when His body is walking fully in His example of constantly moving in HIs power to see deaf ears open, etc. I believe Jesus revealed to us the fullest picture of the Father as He lived that way. Oh how He longs to heal us in every dimension!

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      1. Reading the autobiography of a minister, who God called to lay hands on countless people and see them physically healed changed my perspective so much. He suffered from cancer at the end of his life and from his deathbed wrote that for the first time he was really able to experience God’s love in a deep and intimate way, as God brought him to a complete stand-still. He died praying for others to experience the heart healing he was as he lay dying and this from a man God used to physically heal so so so many people.

        Yes: he saw God show His love through those physical healings, but his death-bed experience reinforced for me what I saw my own Mum go through in her final days: sometimes God chooses not to heal us physically on earth, so He can instead heal our hearts and draw us into His arms of love. And that’s what He has been doing for me too. Hemming me in to see the fruit of His labor unfolding in my midst, as He’s teaching me to rest in Him.

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  3. And just had to add the poem from it also:

    Arthur Christopher Bacon

    Chance has not brought this ill to me;
    It’s God’s own hand, so let it be,
    For He sees what I cannot see.

    There is a purpose for each pain, And He one day will make it plain That earthly loss is heavenly gain.

    Like as a piece of tapestry
    Viewed from the back appears to be Only threads tangled hopelessly; But in the front a picture fair Rewards the worker for his care, Proving his skill and patience rare.

    You are the Workman, I the frame. Lord, for the glory of Your Name, Perfect Your image on the same.

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      1. I loved that movie as a kid and sung along to a lot of the songs. I love this bit especially:

        If a man loses everything he owns
        Has he truly lost his worth?
        Or is it the beginning
        Of a new and brighter birth?

        I have had so much stripped away of what I believed I “needed” (even believing I “needed” it to belong to Jesus 😭) but that stripping away is now indeed birthing the new in me. Playing in the background are the lyrics: “just the Cross is enough” 😊.

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  4. Great post Jennifer.

    “Do you notice that in all three gospels where this story is told, Jesus notices the faith of the man’s friends?”

    One woman said to her best friend: “You may lack faith or may even have no faith at all. Do you know what I will do? I will pray the prayer of faith for you. I will substitute my faith for you in this situation”.

    And do know what? God honored it. As Jesus did with the faith of the paralytic’s friends.

    “I’m thinking that paralytic must have been tormented by guilt.” Guilt and possibly SHAME also.

    Blessings as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent point, David! Shame is even deeper than guilt oftentimes. I was just thinking on that topic recently. I’m really glad you pointed it out here. And love that about the woman and her best friend, amen! (Slow reply because I had a visitor here from the U.S. keeping me extra busy with hostessing). Grace and peace to you!

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