I can walk! Without crutches! Instead of weeks in a boot and 7 months to a year off of running, I’m cured!
My problem was obvious. There it is on my x-ray (the little arrow points it out). There’s your trouble: bone spur on the heel. Ouch.
But, turns out, that was the wrong problem. What I needed was someone to diagnose and solve the right one.
Someone did, and after two days of the right medication, I am completely better. I am so grateful.
And I am reminded of a story in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, where people bring a man who is paralyzed to Jesus for healing. From paralysis. Obviously. There’s your trouble.
But Jesus instead solves a different one. “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.”
The friends who brought the man must have been stunned. The religious authorities were scandalized: “This man is blaspheming!”
Jesus responds with a riddle: “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?”
Then to demonstrate that he has the authority to forgive sins, Jesus tells the man, “‘Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.’ And he stood up and went to his home.”
Both problems solved—the obvious one and the bigger one. The one Jesus knew needed solving. The one that the man wouldn’t be able to walk away from on his own, even if he had full use of his legs. The one his friends couldn’t help him with either, all by themselves.
The one Jesus solved for us too.
I wonder how Jesus would answer his own question.
Rodney Reeves says, “I think it was harder for Jesus to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ knowing what it would take for that to be true . . . The man didn’t even ask for his sins to be forgiven. Jesus simply did it. And the proof that Jesus meant it was not only seen when he raised this man from his mat, but especially when he ‘offered his life a ransom for many’ and God raised him from the dead” (Matthew. The Story of God Bible Commentary, p. 189).
I am so grateful.
The right solution to my foot problem? Gout. The heel spur may cause me trouble someday. But the problem that needed solving didn’t show in the x-ray. This I can manage, probably simply by giving up some foods I’ve been enjoying while we are in South Africa. I’m so glad someone could see what I really needed and solve the right problem.