How Jesus Treated “The Broken Beyond Repair”
31 Days in My [Insert Label Here] Skin:
How Jesus Treated “The Broken Beyond Repair”
I love reading about Jesus’ interactions with people who seemed to be broken beyond repair.
One story that comes to mind is from Luke 5, when a group of men brought their “broken” friend to Jesus. They were so committed to getting their paralyzed friend to the rabbi who had a reputation for being able to heal, that they literally cut a hole through a stranger’s roof so that they could lower their friend down on a mat and give him the opportunity to be healed by Jesus.
And how did Jesus respond to this?
- He welcomed the broken man.
- He forgave the man for whatever sins he may have committed throughout his life.
- And He healed the paralyzed man completely, enabling this man to immediately stand up, grab the mat he had been lying on, and walk out of there.
It isn’t surprising that the man praised God the whole way home. Who wouldn’t?!?
Another person who I love reading about is Mary Magdalene. We know from Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:2 that Mary once had seven demons plaguing her life. I can imagine that with seven demons terrorizing her mind and body, she must have felt “broken beyond repair.”
And I feel that way too sometimes.
Whether it is because of the Depression that keeps haunting me, trying to bog me down, or whether it is because of the Anxiety that repeatedly jumps in and tries to sidetrack me from God’s truth and His good plans for my life, or whether it is just my impatience and short temper that I can never seem to master, the fact is that I often feel like I am an irreparable mess of a human being.
So when I read about people like Mary Magdalene, and who she became after she met Jesus and allowed Him to free her, I am filled with hope.
Because did you know that this woman who once upon a time had seven demons living in her then became someone completely amazing?
Despite her past:
- Mary was one of a handful of women who, according to Luke 8:1-3, helped financially support Jesus and His disciples as they traveled from town to town “proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.”
- Because she traveled with Him, Mary had the opportunity to witness all kinds of miracles and to watch Jesus in action on a daily basis.
- Mary was there when Jesus told the Parable of the Sower, wherein Jesus described how God plants “seeds” of the good news about His kingdom in all kinds of different people.
- Mary was one of the very few friends who faithfully stayed near Jesus throughout His entire trial, crucifixion, death, and burial.
- And Mary was also the very first person Jesus appeared to after He rose from the grave, alive and well. Because of this, she was the first person to testify about the risen Jesus.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. ~John 20:11-18~
I look at Mary’s life, and I consider her past, and I look at who she became and how God used her to be such a blessing to Jesus, his crew of disciples and the world… and I feel hope.
Because Jesus responded to her the same way He responded when the group of men brought their paralyzed, seemingly “broken beyond repair” friend to Jesus that day in Luke 5:
- He welcomed Mary.
- He forgave her for whatever she had done in the past to invite those demons into her life.
- And He healed her completely, enabling her to immediately partner with Him as He brought good news and healing to so many more.
And Mary Magdalene, like the newly healed, formerly paralyzed man, couldn’t help but praise God and follow Jesus the rest of her life.
She had seen what darkness looked like. She had known what hopelessness felt like. She had experienced what oppression and hard-heartedness and exposing oneself to demonic forces could do to a person.
And then she met Jesus and was freed from it all.
Thank You, Lord, that no matter how “broken beyond repair” I may feel at times, You welcome me, too. Thank You, Lord, that You forgive me, too. Thank You, Lord, that You are in the process of healing and freeing and equipping and using me, too. You are good, Lord. So pure, so perfect, so incredible… and yet You love me anyway. Thank You.
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What about you?
What are some other stories in the Bible wherein you see God’s beautiful hand of healing set someone free? What can you do to intentionally turn to God and let Him bring healing and freedom to you this week?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.