a good friend of mine was cleaning out his car a couple of months ago…and when he reached under one of the seats…a plastic fork pierced his hand. like the average guy…he wiped off the blood and continued to work. after he was done…he went into the house and washed his hands.
after the long weekend was over…he went back to work. at one point during the day…he picked up a sledge hammer and got ready to swing it…when an intense pain shot through his hand and arm. he took off his glove and noticed that his fingers were beginning to swell. before long…the swelling consumed his whole hand and started up his arm. he called his wife and they went to the emergency room.
after arriving at the emergency room…and having his hand examined…he was told that he would have to undergo emergency surgery. his hand was infected and had he waited another day…he would have lost some fingers…and maybe his hand.
some wounds are not just physical…they are emotional. they affect us at the heart level. some wounds affect us so deeply they rip the fabric of our soul. many times we are wounded by those closest to us…those who mean the most to us…those who we allow into the most intimate parts of our lives. it may be the friend who cheated with your wife…the dad who sexually abused his daughter…the mother that never said she loved her son…the list goes on and on.
the wound is sharp and piercing. it isn’t just a scratch or a surface wound that heals in a couple of days. the wound is deep. no matter how much time you spend washing the surface…unless you actually go into that deep area and clean it out…it gets infected and begins spreading…until it completely consumes you.
if you are like me…you may have read matthew 8 a million times and missed out on this subtle…but profound nuance. beginning in the fifth verse…a centurion…aka a professional officer of THE ROMAN ARMY…approaches Jesus…telling him about his servant (the translation could also mean child…so it may be his own child) that is paralyzed. DON’T MISS WHAT HAPPENS HERE…Jesus tells the centurion, “I will come heal him.” the word “heal” here is the Greek word therapeuo, which means…”to heal, to cure, to restore.” Jesus responds to the centurian and basically says, “no prob…i will go to your servant and heal him from his paralysis.” and now here is the kicker…
the centurion looks at Jesus and says, “Lord, i do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” to the casual reader…it may seem as if the centurion offers up a very nice gesture and compliment to Jesus by being so humble and believing that Jesus could heal his servant from a distance…and that would be partially right. the compliment is so much deeper though. you see…the operative word here…again…is this word “heal.” one would think that it is the same Greek word describing curing and healing…but it isn’t.
the word “heal”…used by the centurion…is the Greek word iaomai…which means “to heal, to cure”…but it also means…”to make whole, to restore, to BRING ONE’S SALVATION!” the centurion says that he not only believes that Jesus can heal his servant (or child)…but can restore the servant…making him WHOLE and FREE FROM SIN! this is profound! Jesus had simply offered to physically heal him…but the centurion said, “dude…i believe you can make him WHOLE!”
our lives are so busy at times…the last thing that we do…is take time to come to terms with the wounds that we have been carrying around for so long. i would highly encourage you to take some time…self-examine…look deep in your soul…and resolve to…once and for all…ask Jesus to begin mending your soul back together. Jesus longs to take your pain…your brokeness…your woundedness…and to make you WHOLE…if you (like the centurion) just believe…and invite him to come.