Saturday, October 17, 2020

Sick at Home

One of the things we have to pay attention to in the Bible, especially in the Gospels, is the way that the stories are arranged. There's a lot we can learn about Jesus from the stories themselves, but there's even more we can learn about Him from the order in which they are told. And since Scripture is God-breathed, that's no accident. 

Look at Matthew 8.

In Matthew 8, we have the story of the Roman army officer who has a sick servant at home. He comes to Jesus to plead for mercy and healing, and Jesus immediately says He's coming. Let's go. Let's go to your house and heal your sick servant. But the army officer refuses, saying that he is not worthy to have Jesus come into his home. Furthermore, he knows that Jesus doesn't have to; He can heal the illness from miles away with just a word. So, He does. 

Immediately after this story, we have another story. This time, Jesus is going to Peter's house. He gets there and goes in and finds Peter's mother-in-law in bed, sick, too sick to do anything. So He walks right in to the sickbed and heals her, taking her hand and helping her up. 

So we have two stories with two sicknesses and two houses and two healings. And you may say, oh, how neat, what an interesting coincidence that right after being told He's too great to come into a humble man's house to heal a sick servant, Jesus walks into a humble man's house and heals a woman (who then begins cooking for the group). But no, it's not just neat. It's not just an interesting coincidence. 

It tells us something about Jesus. 

Actually, I think it tells us a lot of things about Jesus, but I confess that I'm not sure I've figured them all out yet. Or even most of them. Or perhaps any of them. But I know without a doubt that it's worth recognizing and thinking about. 

My initial thoughts on the matter are this: if you know you have an illness in your home, you can carry it to Jesus and He will take care of it. He doesn't have to come in and check out all the skeletons in your closet and see all the cobwebs in the corner and whatever else you're afraid will embarrass you in front of Him. You can just carry your illness to Him with complete confidence, humble yourself, and He will heal the illness in your home. 

At the same time, if you welcome Jesus into your home, He will go straight for the illness every time. When He entered Peter's home, that's what He did. He went straight to the bedroom where Peter's mother-in-law was lying with a fever, and the first thing He did in that home was to heal her. He didn't talk about the skeletons in the closet or the cobwebs in the corner or whatever else Peter (or his wife or his mother-in-law or anyone else) might have worried about Jesus seeing in their home. He went straight for the sickness, and He healed it. 

I think that's important. I don't think that's the only important thing here, but I think it's one of them. It reminds us that at His core, Jesus is a Healer. We are often so worried about Him being a judge. About what He's going to think about us. About what kind of stuff He's going to see if we give Him access to even a little bit of our lives. We think we have to have things all cleaned up or whatever, but the truth about Jesus is that He's not nearly as interested in all that other stuff as we're afraid that He is. He goes straight for the sickness, straight to the healing. Every time. Whether we carry it to Him or welcome Him into our home. 

Both of which, by the way, are acts of humility. We either humble ourselves by shouldering our burden all the way to His cross or we humble ourselves by opening the door and welcoming Him in, but when we humble ourselves, He heals us. He heals our home. It's the first thing He thinks about, the first thing He wants to do. And He can do it, with merely a word or with an outstretched hand. Whatever. He's heals our homes, our hearts, the inmost of our beings, the places where we dwell. He heals them. 

That's important. Right?

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