2001-03-18 - Passages About the Disabled
What do you do when you see someone who looks "different" physically, who
is mentally challenged, who is in a wheelchair etc.? Some people make fun
of people in situations like this; sadly, I have even seen Christians make
jokes at the expenses of disabled people. Some people turn away in disgust,
not seeing the person in God's image who is inside the disabled "shell."
Of course in Heaven, there will be no disabilities. But while we are still
on this Earth, God wants us to see disabled people as He does - just as valuable
to Him as those of us who are able-bodied or able-minded. And He wants us
to provide support and friendship to them -- to share Christ's love with
them. Also, those of us who are not "disabled" should allow ourselves to
be blessed by the ministry of those who are. Below are a few Biblical passages
with principles and stories that reflect God's heart toward the disabled.
1 Corinthians 1:27 (NASB) But God has chosen the foolish
things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things
of the world to shame the things which are strong.
Isaiah 35:3 (NASB) Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen
2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 9:3-11 (NASB) 4:4 Now Jonathan,
Saul's son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the
report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up
and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame.
And his name was Mephibosheth....9:3-11 The king said, "Is there not yet
anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?'' And
Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled
in both feet.'' So the king said to him, "Where is he?'' And Ziba said to
the king, "Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar."
Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of
Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul,
came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said,
"Mephibosheth." And he said, "Here is your servant!'' David said to him,
"Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your
father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather
Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly." Again he prostrated himself
and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?"
Then the king called Saul's servant Ziba and said to him, "All that belonged
to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. You
and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you
shall bring in the produce so that your master's grandson may have food;
nevertheless Mephibosheth your master's grandson shall eat at my table
regularly." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said
to the king, "According to all that my lord the king commands his servant
so your servant will do." So Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of
the king's sons.
Mark 2:2-12 (NASB) And many were gathered together, so
that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking
the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by
four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the
roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet
on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the
paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." But some of the scribes were sitting
there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He
is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus,
aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves,
said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which
is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say,
'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk'? But so that you may know that
the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,"He said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, 'get up, pick up your pallet and go home."' And he got up
and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone,
so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never
seen anything like this."