I just noticed something fascinating about the story in Luke chapter 5 (see text at bottom of article) where Jesus heals the paralyzed man who is lowered down into the busy room through the roof. In many of the miracles that Jesus’ performs, he enacts physical and spiritual healing at the same time. Or occasionally he grants physical healing first, hoping to prompt a subsequent spiritual awakening by the recipient, such as in the story of the blind man healed at the Pool of Bethesda in John chapter 5. But this story is different. Here, Jesus forgives the man first. And it’s only after that that Jesus then heals the man’s legs. What this text subtly indicates is actually quite fascinating: our spiritual healing is not connected with our physical health.
Jesus as the great iconoclast seems to be a recurring theme recently in passages I have read. I’ve always been perplexed by the story in Luke’s gospel where Jesus reads from the Isaiah scroll and the members of the synagogue then attempt to throw him off a cliff for it. Interestingly, as I was reading through Luke and stopping to focus on this story, I concurrently came to a chapter in Kenneth Bailey’s brilliant book, ‘Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes’, that deals with this confusing portion of text.