"He Took Our Illnesses"
September 15, 2009
That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "He took our illnesses and bore our diseases." Matthew 8:16-17
What were they thinking?
That was my reaction when I read a Reuters report that recently came out of Tampa, Florida.
Please let me explain: Steve Valdez went to that city's Bank of America branch for the purpose of cashing a check on his wife's account.
Knowing he would have to prove his identity, Steve came equipped with two photo IDs. Having looked at the identification provided, the cashier said Steve would also have to place his thumb on an electronic scanner to prove himself.
It was a request that caused Steve a problem. You see, Steve doesn't have hands and the prosthetic hands he does own don't come equipped with fingerprints.
Steve's case was taken to a higher court when the bank manager was called in. The manager said Steve either had to provide a thumbprint, open his own account, or bring in his wife.
Steve told them he didn't have thumbprints, he didn't want a separate account, and his wife wasn't anywhere near. And what was the end of the story? Well, Steve didn't get the check cashed.
To its credit, Bank of America has publicly said that while the thumbprint is a requirement for those who don't have accounts, the bank should have made accommodations.
You know, when our Savior walked this earth, He did more than make accommodations for those who were brought to Him with physical and spiritual problems. As the text indicates, Jesus "cast out the (evil) spirits with a word and healed all who were sick."
Those healings were a visible manifestation of the changes Jesus was bringing to a lost and sinful world. The healing of a body, the forgiving of a soul, the calming of a conscience, the defeat of death and devil were God's proof that He was -- by His Son's life, death, and resurrection -- reclaiming that which had been stolen from Him in the fall.
Even today, Jesus doesn't make accommodations for our infirmities, our faults, flaws, and transgressions. He conquers them. He eliminates them, and in so doing He forgives, redeems, and restores all who believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is impossible for us to understand why You would love Your disobedient children. Still, we give thanks for Your grace that comes to us by the Savior's victory over sin, death, and devil. May our lives reflect to others the hope we have been given. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries