"And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
(Mark 2:3-5 ESV)
Now at first glance it seems to me like this guy got a pretty raw end of the deal. Jesus had been physically healing all these people, in fact in Mark 1 he'd been healing up a storm. Yet, His first response in seeing their faith in Mark 2 was to heal the paralytic's sins.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the guy came expecting to be healed physically, which Christ eventually did. But, if Jesus had left it right there, if He said, "Your sins are forgiven" and left it at that, would the guy have been disappointed?
If I'm being honest, I might have been.
There is so much physical brokenness in this world and it's what I tend to focus on. Yet Jesus' first response of joy and love and excitement in seeing these men's faith was to heal the spiritual. Because He knows, above all, the spiritual is the most important. And the spiritual leads to the physical.
How often do I pray for physical healing over spiritual? For the things seen above all that I cannot see and comprehend? But it's so very clear that Jesus came, thousands of years ago as a small baby, to heal our souls first and foremost and in His compassion He often chooses to heal us physically as well.
But this is the challenge. To live, whatever happens in life, with the reminder that the spiritual condition of my heart, of the heart of those around me, is so much more important than anything else. And in this world, it seems hard to do.
(PS- Obviously I am not saying to ignore the physical needs of others, because caring for someone physically is a tangible way to love to others.)