St Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church
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05-10-09: Sunday Of The Paralytic -- The Lord Is Healer

The Lord is Healer

David in the Old Covenant understands our Creator God best. The ancestor of the Lord cries out with certain conviction: "O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me" Psalms 30: 2.

Out of a small town in the northern region of Israel, Jesus came preaching a message of hope, restoration and healing. The common folks welcomed him with open arms. And why shouldn't they? Traveling from one city to the next, Jesus touched their broken lives - one fractured person after another - restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the mute, and strength to the lame. He cured all types of illness: fever, palsy, epilepsy leprosy, hemorrhaging, and dropsy. He mended withered limbs, strengthening bent backs, and even attached the severed ear of an enemy. Multitudes followed him, amazed at his power to heal; drawn, as well, to the compelling tenderness they experienced in his presence.

Yet Jesus addressed more than merely physical illness. Just as Isaiah prophesied, he released those who had been taken captive by evil. He set men and women and children and foreigners free from demons, mental illness and despair. Those plagued with evil spirits found him always approachable, but the minions of darkness fled in terror at the sound of his voice.

Most profound was the diligence with which Jesus tended to the hearts of those whom He touched. Speaking a message of forgiveness, mercy and grace, He set at liberty those who were tortured and oppressed by guilt. Prostitutes, thieves, liars, alike found help in the presence of Jesus, healing in his words and hope in his saving grace.

Whatever the infirmity, Jesus healed, moment by moment, touch by tender touch, until at last his healing ministry became a threat to the powerful religious regime of his day, incensed over his unconventional intimacy with the Almighty, his untraditional approach to the sacred law, and his unwillingness to conform to the status quo, the religious ruling council of his day determined He must die before their influence and empire came to naught.

In his final and most profound act of healing, Jesus willingly submitted to death by execution in order to heal the breach between Almighty God and simple man. Let us review at least a few of the occasions that prepared us to accept by anticipation the

healing work of the Lord and subsequently continued in the life of his Body, our blessed Church when He makes whole, heals fractured brokenness and restores man to the pristine beauty of his originally created self.

In the Old Covenant, Miriam, the sister of Moses is healed of leprosy after Moses prays and intercedes for her (Numbers 12).

The prophet Elias brings the dead son of the widow of Zarephath back to life (1 Kings 17: 17 - 24).

The prophet Elisha tells Naaman, the commander of the army of Aram to wash in the Jordan River and he is healed of his leprosy (2 Kings 5).

King Hezekiah of Judah prayed for healing and our heavenly Father told Isaiah to put figs on his painful boil. The king was thus healed (2 Kings 20: 1 - 11).

The apostles Peter and John used the power of God to heal a lame man at the temple gate in Jerusalem (Acts of the Apostles 3: 1 - 10).

Because the apostles, like Peter, were instruments in the hands of God for healing, many sick people believed they could be healed even if Peter's shadow fell on them (Acts of the Apostles 5: 15).

In the city of Joppa, Peter brought Dorcas, a woman who performed kind acts for widows and the poor, back to life (Acts of the Apostles 9: 36 - 42).

The apostle Paul raised a young man named Eutychus from the dead after Eutychus fell out of a window and was killed (Acts of the Apostles 20: 7):

It I our hope that the healing hands of Jesus reach through time and space and come in our midst tonight, or if it is his will, at the right and appropriate moment, to transform us to our own created dignity, perfect in his sight, so that all which hinders us, all that delays our perfection in spirit and soul will be encouraged by a return to perfection in our physical being. May the healing grace of Jesus Christ continue through the compassionate heart and faithful prayers of his faithful followers until the day He returns. "Let us never forget the reminder of the prophet Jeremiah, "I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security" Jeremiah 33: 6.

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