Sunday's sermon continued our consideration of Psalm 103, especially verse 3 and blessing the Lord 'who forgives all our diseases.' The more we consider these words, the more we realize just how difficult they are to comprehend. One question often leads to another, which leads to another, which leads... Opinions differ among experts and laypeople alike: some commentators stress that what is meant here is "moral" diseases, while others stress that they are most certainly physical ones.
We 21st-century "moderns" have more or less lost the traditional concept of the inter-relatedness of mind, soul, and body, and therefore often forget the logical conclusion that healing one aspect of our triune nature will necessarily affect the other two. Considering the healing of the paralytic in Matthew 9, we saw how Jesus healed the man in order for us to believe that he could forgive his sins. Matthew Henry writes:
Sin is the cause of all our pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is to take away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all diseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing his power to cure the man sick of the palsy. And his curing diseases was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christ does in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like. Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of a physician, therefore despise or neglect Christ and his gospel. But the convinced, humbled sinner, who despairs of all help, excepting from the Saviour, will show his faith by applying to him without delay.