Some of my favorite writings have been about this room. Looking down into it, I can't help but recite them to myself as if I were pounding away at my keyboard. We've looked at this place from various perspectives; the friends, the paralytic, and the naysayers. Where are we? Well, in Capurnaum (where Jesus spent the majority of time during his public ministry, and my absolute favorite spot on our trip) there's a church with a glass floor that's built over an ancient space. Directly adjacent to the Temple of Jesus - where we know with absolute certainty He preached - sits the very spot believed to be where a man picked up his bed and walked. Yeah, I know, right? I can stop typing.
It was here that Jesus asked, "Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? (Mark 2)
Max Lucado once asked, "Which was easier for Jesus? To forgive a soul or heal a body? To heal the man’s body took a simple command; to forgive the man’s sins took Jesus’ blood. The first was done in the house of friends; the second on a hill with thieves. One took a word; the other took his body. One took a moment; the other took his life. Which was easier?”
This room puts me in check. Want to know why I strain to talk training and nutrition? This room. Want to know why I care more about my soul (and yours) than I do my body (or yours)? This room. Sure, I'm an educated physiologist and author of fitness and nutrition books, but compared to the lesson the Lord taught us - merely 10 feet below mine - fitness isn't worth a darn. Or maybe I should say, it has "little value."
Alistair Begg said in a recent sermon, "The greater triumph isn't the healing of the body, but is the cleansing of the soul. Because even if we are healed physically, we will surely die. The great miracle is that God can change a heart."
How does the old song go? 'Change my heart oh God. Make it ever true. Change my heart, oh God, I want to be like you.' Can't you just hear those words echo off the rocks below? I wonder what the healed man treasured more as he walked away, health or Heaven. Someday I'll ask him.
Indeed, the body is a miracle, no doubt. A wondrous creation. All our working joints and muscle and fat and systems are simultaneous explosions of the divine. And yes, I'll always love helping you care for it, train it and treat it. It's my trade. But PrayFit has always been and will always be about the greater triumph; none of which has to do with our effort or the byproducts of any discipline.
But anyway, guys, look at this view! What!? Seems I'm typing again in my head. Let's see...Picking up the mat and walking wasn't the great miracle in the room. Not for the friends, the paralytic, the naysayers, but especially not for Jesus. That's what I see as I look through the hole in the roof...
- Jimmy Peña
For Discussion: What is your favorite part of the story? We all are taught something different, so please share. Knowing what it took for Jesus to heal our hearts, how does that help you maintain a proper perspective of the body?
Pictured: Here you'll see a candid shot of Loretta waiting for me to get the camera ready to take her picture. :-) I snapped it early. She's standing in the Temple across the way. I love this shot.