I love hearing a good sermon on a Sunday morning. Knowing I am going to hear a sermon from my son always makes me nervous. Not sure why. It just does. So much prayer goes up for him & his message before Sunday even arrives. Yesterday he spoke a good message. Know why?
While he was speaking, God was stirring thoughts in my heart. After coming home, God was still speaking to me out of the message.
It was not the messenger. It was the message.
In the message, two stories of healing were shared:
- the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She had both a unique & personal encounter with Jesus that resulted in her healing. Due to her issue of blood, this woman was ceremonially unclean – she was an outcast. She had lost all purpose & identity within society.
- the story of the paralyzed man lowered through the roof of a home, by his friends, that Jesus was visiting. This man had also lost his identity & purpose within society as his infirmity left him to being a beggar.
Both of these people had lost their identities due to the restrictions placed upon them by the Law & society. Yet here is the interesting thing that sprung alive for me yesterday:
Along with healing each of these people, Christ also restored their identity & their relationship with Him. Follow this thought:
With the woman, Christ says this: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace & be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5: 34 NIV).
With the paralytic, Christ says this: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2: 5 NIV).
Christ calls one, “Daughter” & one “Son”. Both of these titles are indicative of an identity. He restores not only health but dignity & purpose to each of them. To each of them, Christ restores relationship as both are familial terms. Both are made whole in that not only are their bodies healthy but their minds & emotions are also such that they are enabled to enter back into society.
As I sat listening to this sermon, I was excited to realize that God calls each of us TODAY into relationship with Him. His desire is to be in relationship intimately with us. He wants to free us from those things that would hold us back from being all that He created us to be. He wants to restore identity, dignity & purpose to each of our lives. May each one of us grab onto this truth today.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God & co-heirs with Christ.” ( Romans 8: 15-17a NIV)
I will be posting a link to the message as soon as it becomes available on our church website.
**You can now hear the sermon in its entirety: