THE SERVANT GENERAL
LESSONS OF JOB
THE INCREDIBLE WORKS OF GOD
In today’s gospel reading, we have an incident that
caused onlookers to enter into their proper relationship with
God, that of awe and wonderment. Jesus healed a paralytic.
“Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified
God, and, struck with awe, they said, ‘We have seen
incredible things today.’” (Lk 5:26).
It was quite a drama. There was a big crowd listening to Jesus
teach. The friends of the paralytic, unable to get through
the crowd, opened up the roof and lowered him right in front
of Jesus. The Pharisees murmured against Jesus forgiving
the man’s sins. Jesus dramatically challenges them to
consider what is easier--to forgive or to heal. Jesus heals
the paralytic, who dramatically stands up and picks up his
a commotion such events would have caused! Indeed they saw
and witnessed incredible things that day! And this led them
to look on Jesus with awe, and to give glory to God.
The paralytic had been afflicted and was suffering, with no
hope in sight. But then he had an encounter with the living
God, who overturns situations, and brings healing, restoration
and redemption. His being afflicted was what led to his being
healed. The affliction was thus a prelude to proclaiming
the glory of God. In turn, his miraculous healing touched
the lives of the onlookers and brought them nearer to the
right relationship with God.
this is what God does. He works miraculous deeds, which show
His power and majesty and draw people to God. These miracles
involve a radical overturning of what is not right to what
is right and just. “The desert and the parched land
.... will bloom.” (Is 35:1). Feeble hands and weak knees
will be made strong and firm (Is 35:3). The blind will see,
the deaf will hear, the lame will leap, and the dumb will
sing (Is 35:5-6a). The desert will burst forth with streams
and the burning sands will become pools (Is 35:6b-7a). When
such things happen, will we not indeed be awed, and say we
have seen incredible things?
else can God show us that indeed He is different from just
any other powerful figure? In a world where many deities and
worldly powers compete for our attention and allegiance, how
does God truly stand out? This happens through His miraculous
deeds, where the impossible comes to pass.
these happen, then “they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.” (Is 35:2c).
Further, we live in a world of affliction and suffering, but
such is only a prelude to experiencing God working in power
to overturn our lot. In a way, just like in the case of the
paralytic, and just as in the case of Job, it is our very
situation of affliction that will prepare us to experience
the wonders of God. When we realize that, we will even be
able to praise God for our affliction, because then we can
experience His power to restore and redeem. When we realize
that, then we will no longer be afraid, as we look forward
to God’s salvation. “Say to those whose hearts
are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he
comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to
save you.” (Is 35:4).
what is this experience of God’s salvation?
It will be peace. Peace is shalom. This is a situation of
everyone living in right relationship with everyone else,
including God. As God is our savior, we are confident that
“surely the Lord will proclaim peace” (Ps 85:9b).
will be abundance and prosperity. Jesus came to bring abundant
life. The Father desires the best for His beloved children.
As such we can be confident that “the Lord will surely
grant abundance” (Ps 85:13a) and that “prosperity
will fill our land” (Ps 85:10b).
will be justice and righteousness. God is just and righteous,
and He calls us to be just and righteous. As such we can
be confident that “justice will look down from heaven.”
(Ps 85:12b, NAB). Another translation, in effect showing
the interchangeability of justice and righteousness, says
that “righteousness will look down from heaven.”
(Ps 85:11b, RSV).
will be love and truth. “Love and truth will meet”
Wow! These virtues are precisely what are missing in the world.
There is strife and disunity, poverty, injustice, unrighteousness,
hatred and lies. These are precisely what cause oppression,
affliction and suffering. These cause people to despair and
we have a Savior. God has redeemed us out of His great love
for us. We just need to respond to His love, to accept His
salvation. Then we must be faithful in living according to
His ways. Then we must continue to be in awe of Him. “Surely
his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory
may dwell in our land.” (Ps 85:9, RSV).
is already who He is. If only we would become whom God wants
us to become, then we will experience His salvation. Once
we decide to live according to God’s ways, then the
process of redemption has started. And once the process of
salvation has started, we need never be afraid, as we can
fully trust in the promises of God and the unfolding of His
plan for our lives. “I will listen for the word of God;
surely the Lord will proclaim peace to his people, to the
faithful, to those who trust in him.” (Ps 85:9).
God has shown us the way. It is the way of holiness. “A
highway will be there, called the holy way.” (Is 35:8a).
It is the way God has destined us for. It is the way of salvation.
“It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the
redeemed will walk.” (Ps 35:9b).
live in a world of tears and sorrow. But God has another plan
for us, just as He had for the paralytic and for Job. God’s
salvation has come. And in that we can only rejoice.
whom the Lord has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.”
Yes, there are still many incredible things that we will see.
The room was very crowded. “Many gathered together so
that there was no longer room for them, not even around the
door” (Mk 2:2).
 Imagine bits of straw and clay and other roofing materials
raining down on Jesus and the crowd.
 In other words, if he was not afflicted, then there would
have been no situation by which he would experience the mysterious
and glorious gift of healing.
 The difference in verse number of the RSV from the NAB,
being one verse behind in numbering, is due to the RSV not
counting the superscription as a verse, which for the NAB
is verse one.
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of Job - Part 33[PDF]