January 15, 2016
Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer: “Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” 1_Sm_8:4-7,10-22a
Sometimes “our” way is not always the ‘best way.’
But then again . . .
The men made a hole in the roof to let the paralytic into the presence of Jesus for healing. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” . . . Jesus said, that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. Mk_2:1-12
It’s really quite amazing the results our faith can bring us. Jesus told his disciples that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could move mountains . . . And, I might add: IF moving mountains IS what they really wanted!
Today we hear two interesting stories of faith, or we might say “the power of the will.” And what we can see through these two stories is the difference between aligning our will, our faith, with God, or not.
In our Gospel story, Jesus returned to Capernaum to preach and teach the ‘Word of God’ to the people. It was a Word of hope, and a word of action. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Mk 1:15 “Repent” meant – to recognize that we have been following false gods, so instead we promise to lay them aside and change our hearts. And “Believe” meant – to Know that God is among us, so we are to follow Him alone!
The people thought the message was nice, but they were still skeptical about the Messenger. They were well aware of all the healing miracles that Jesus had performed; and they were anxious to see one for themselves. So they crowded around Him.
They say, “Where there is a will, there is a way!”
And, as we heard, no crowd, nor building could keep those four, faith-filled men from having their loved-one healed. You can imagine their disappointment when ALL Jesus did was forgive the paralytic’s sins. Of course the belief, at the time, was that all sickness was caused by sin. So it wasn’t ALL bad.
But it gave Jesus an opportunity to find out the true motives of the crowd. And what it revealed, was a group of enemies who were determined to undermine Him.
Of course we know, that was NOT possible.
And in the end, the ‘faithful-four’ and the paralytic – got exactly what they “willed.”
God surely has His way with us, when our ‘way’ is aligned with His!
Which brings us to the story of Samuel. Remember that Samuel was a great prophet in Israel. The people respected him and looked up to him as a guide, leader and judge. Unfortunately his sons didn’t quite follow in his footsteps. And the people grew to needing a visible leader, as they fell away from relying on God, who saved them all those years earlier.
They say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
It’s funny how God will warn us through all kinds of signs, when our will – is not aligned with His. And the Words God spoke through His servant Samuel – could not have been more clear.
You see, God will never force His Hand, nor His Way – upon us. But if we are open to listen, to learn from Him, He will gently lead us to the very BEST of ways . . . Whether that’s enduring an illness, preparing for death, teaching our children and grandchildren, or even just getting up in the morning, God has a Way that is best.
All we need do, is ask, in faith!
_____________________end of post