“Jesus could have healed me.”

Yesterday I enjoyed watching Ann Graham Lotz give a  great  sermon n repentance   and salvation. Part of it reminded me of  “The Robe” starring Richard Burton as the unsaved Roman Tribune Marcellus Arelius Gallio who had crucified Christ. They don’t make movies like they used to, that’s for sure, but one particular scene in “The Robe” really struck me as amazingly profound and came immediately to my mind while listening to Lotz.

If you’ve ever been ill or faced with some other adversity or trial and your prayers for healing seem not to have been answered, as I have felt myself from time to time I’ll readily admit, then consider the transcript below which I copied by hand from the movie.

The scene is shortly before Marcellus’ conversion to Christianity; he is speaking to a Christian girl in Cananamed Miriam.  Miriam was paralyzed when she had met Jesus, but Jesus did not heal her paralysis.  Nonetheless, Marcellus had seen her singing of her joy of faith to an assembly of Christians and was puzzled.  I pick up the dialog after the conversation has already started:

Miriam:  Jesus is alive, more surely than we are.  He taught us to love God with all our heart and one another as ourselves.

Marcellus:  Worlds are built on force, not charity. Power is all that counts.

Miriam: Perhaps we have something better than power.   We have hope.

Marcellus (with great emphasis): That you of all people should say that!   You can see (pointing to her crippled legs) that he (Jesus) left you just as he found you!

Miriam: I used to wonder about that myself. Until faith taught me the answer.  He could have healed my body, and then it would have been natural for me to laugh and sing.  And then I came to understand that He had done something even better for me. He had chosen me for His work.  He left me as I am, so that all others like me might know that their misfortune needn’t deprive them of happiness within His kingdom.

Marcellus: It is beyond reason that anyone should think as you do!

Miriam: Not if you had only known Him, looked into His eyes, or heard Him speak.

This short scene in this movie really made an impression on me.  Often we think of all things working together for good (Rom 8.28) in a sort of “every cloud has a silver lining” abstract kind of way, but in this movie scene is in my view a very good example of what dealing with adversity is really about. It’s understanding that God is sovereign and He has His purpose in the events in our lives, including diseases, adversities and trials, and that we should actually rejoice in these events and tribulations, knowing that His purposes are loving and just.  From our purely human point of view, it is “beyond reason” that anyone would be joyous about being paralyzed, yet with faith in Him and who He is, this joy makes all the sense in the world.