As we uncover our identity as a Christian, we discover a new way to live. This new life is the transformation process that is initiated when our spirit is reborn, giving us a new direction.
Have you ever met people who talk the talk but don’t walk the talk? In a letter written to the church in Corinth, Paul said this, “20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
This verse places a responsibility upon us to act not just talk. As a follower of Jesus, our faith is something we live, something we are, something we do.
In Luke 5, we read about a time when Jesus returned to Capernaum as a crowd of people converged on His location. From this story, we unearth another part of our identity as His followers.
As the crowd fills the house to hear Him teach, there is no more room to squeeze in another person. The door won’t close as the group stands in the doorway. Luke says, “And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.”
The word power means the ability to do something, often a supernatural work. Jesus had the power to heal the sick. Having the power does not mean that it is how He will respond to every need, but He can.
The Bible gives some reasons why healing is available yet not received.
“5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.” Mark 6:5-6
Unbelief in the Greek is apistas and means faithlessness and uncertainty. It derives from the word apistos, which means untrustworthy.
In context, unbelief is uncertainty about the person of Jesus Christ. Faith must be convinced of Jesus’ divinity. Jesus was unable to do as many miracles as He was capable of doing because of the unbelief of those in His hometown of Nazareth.
But what happens if you believe who Jesus is and your healing hasn’t happened?
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
The Apostle Paul discovered that God chose not to heal him of his illness but rather supplied #2 grace to live with his thorn in the flesh.
The sufficiency of grace enabled Paul to preserve his faith in God, hold on to the peace of God, and to live with the joy of God, despite his pain.
But until God says, “No,” I believe that God will and wants to heal you!
In Luke 5, four men are carrying their paralytic friend to Jesus so he could pray for him. As they approach the house, they see the crowds with no way of getting in. They must have felt discouraged, but their discouragement did not cause them to turn around.
Two crucial qualities supported their faith.
They could have just waited until everyone left, but they had come too far, and their friend had been sick too long to risk missing Jesus. These guys were not going to let anyone or anything stop them.
When they see no direct or conventional way into the house, they made a way. (Where there’s a will there’s a way.) Without any tools, they began to dig with their hands.
Jesus’ first response is to forgive the man of sin. On the priority list of life, the forgiveness of sin is number 1.
Physical healing is temporary, but spiritual healing, having your sin forgiven, is eternal. We are all going to die, there’s no way of avoiding that, but where you spend eternity is up to you.
Jesus deals first with the man’s sin issue, and then He heals him. Faith was necessary, but a close second was the help of these friends. This miracle would not be possible without friends.
Contrast this story to one found in John 5 of a paralytic man who sat by the pool of Bethesda for years and explained to Jesus “I have no one” to help me into the pool so I can be healed.
As a follower of Jesus, your faith equips you to do more than talk. There are people and situations which not only need our prayer; they need our action. Be a part of the miracle for someone!