Psalms and Prophets, part 2

Leithart next looks at Psalm 35. his main point here seems to be that, since the language of courtroom and battlefield are so mixed here, that therefore forensic language “is not always strictly tied to ‘forensic’ situations” (p. 219). However, he only cites verses 2-3 as evidence of a military setting. But this is no different from what we might say today, “I fought a courtroom battle today.” The question here is this: how is the language metaphorical? Which set of metaphors is more basic/more prevalent? I believe that the clear answer with regard to Psalm 35 is that the courtroom language is far more prevalent and controlling than the military language. Therefore, the military language is metaphorical of the courtroom. First of all, the Psalm starts with the courtroom imagery, as Leithart notes (p. 218). But surely, the idea that “coutroom language emerges now and then throughout the Psalm” is an understatement. Witness (!) the following data: “put to shame” (vs. 4); “malicious witnesses” (vs. 11); “look on” (vs. 17); “you have seen” (calls on God as witness, vs. 22); all of verses 23-26 are clearly determined by courtroom language, with such words as “vindication,” “righteousness,” “shame,” and “dishonor” occuring regularly. Through and through, this Psalm is riddled with courtroom imagery. It is certainly the most prominent set of images. Leithart’s argument here makes me feel that he is trying to jumble up all the metaphors so that everything describes one act. The language does not force that to be the case.

Two other things must therefore be argued: firstly, the other metaphors do not have to be interpreted in such a way that the courtroom imagery has to include the others within its own conceptual framework. Again, Leithart has not proven his point here by excluding all the alternatives. Even if his claim were true that the imagery was so mixed, that would not justify (!) us in saying that the metaphors have to be all jumbled together. For instance, an unfavorable verdict for David’s accusers results in deliverance from them. The text nowhere forces us to say that they are the same act. The one can be the perfectly logical and ordinary result of the other. This leads us to the second point: being vindicated in a courtroom results in dignity and honor commensurate with the confirmed status of being innocent. This is not the same thing as being delivered from sin. It is the same as being delivered from guilt. So, here, to a certain extent, I can use Leithart’s term “deliverdict,” as long as it is understood of deliverance from guilt, and not deliverance from power or presence.

Feasting or Fasting?

Matthew 9:14-17

Audio Version

One of my favorite passages in Scripture consists of two proverbs: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. We wonder, “how is it that those two proverbs can exist immediately next to each in Scripture?” Is it a contradiction? The answer is that there is a time for everything. There is a time not to answer a fool, lest you become foolish in answering him. There is another time to answer a fool, by showing him his folly. The point is that it takes wisdom to know which one to do when. That is an illustration of what Jesus is doing here in this rather puzzling passage. Jesus is telling us that there is a time for fasting, and there is a time for feasting. It takes wisdom to know which one we should be doing.

In the immediately preceding passage, we see this question: with whom can Jesus eat? We saw that it is the sick who need the doctor, not the healthy. Well, if that passage answered the question of with whom should Jesus eat, this passage answers the question, “when should we eat, and when should we fast?”

It is the disciples of John who come to Jesus to ask this question. It seems fairly certain that we are still in Matthew’s house. These disciples of John come to Jesus to ask a question. This question concerns fasting. They themselves are in the habit of fasting often. They had set times for fasting, as did the Pharisees. It was part of their religion to do that. They notice, however, that Jesus is not fasting, and neither are His disciples. They don’t approve of this apparent lack of piety. So they ask Jesus about this. In effect, they are saying, “Jesus, how can you be pious without all the trappings of piety?” The question is really related to the question of the entire ceremonial law. Are all of those things going to continue, such as certain meats being off-limits, or burning a house down because it has a mold that will not go away?

Jesus’ answer is puzzling in so many ways. There are many interpretations, and making a decision has been very difficult. Even now, my conclusions are quite tentative. I am not sure of my ground here on all of the matters before us. I will merely state what I think to be the meaning, and what we can glean from it. Jesus’ answer is centered on Himself. That much is certain. Jesus is Himself the Bridegroom, and His coming to earth is the beginning of the Wedding Supper. The guests are His disciples. Jesus’ point hinges on the fact that wedding celebrations were joyful times, full of feasting. In fact, it was insulting to the host to fast while everyone else was feasting. It would be the wrong time to fast. It would be a lack of recognition as to what time it was. Jesus is making a point about history here. He is saying that the Messiah has come, and that He is the Messiah, and that He has come to wed a people to Himself. In short, He has come to wed the church.

That makes what comes after all the more shocking. The bridegroom normally has every intention of being with his bride all the time of that whole week of celebration, which was how long the wedding feast lasted. He was with his bride night and day. So for Jesus to say that He, the bridegroom, was going to be taken away from His bride, was a very shocking thing to say. It shows us that Jesus did not fit the normal expectations of the Messiah. Just as a bridegroom was expected to be there the whole time of the celebration, so also the Messiah was expected to stay with his people when he came. Death and crucifixion was the last thing on anyone’s mind as they thought about the Messiah. And yet, that is fairly clearly what is going on here. Jesus refers to the time of His death when He says that the bridegroom will be taken away, and the wedding guests will mourn. Mourning is appropriate at a funeral, but not at the wedding. What Jesus is saying then, is that when He is present, there is the time for rejoicing, and when He is absent, that is the time for fasting. That gives us a new puzzle. After Christ was raised from the dead, He told us that He would be with us always, even to the end of the age. So Christ is present with the church now by the Holy Spirit. And yet, Jesus also told us in chapter 6 that we would be fasting. What is going on here? I think what Jesus is getting at is that He will always be with us, and yet it will not always be obvious that He is with us. For those times when Christ is obviously with us, that is the time for feasting. When Christ looks to be absent from us, that is the time for fasting. It takes wisdom to know when Christ is hiding His face from us, and when Christ is smiling upon us. And it should be noted that Christ is not always hiding His face just because we are experiencing hard times. After all, James tells us to rejoice when we experience trials. Trials can be the basis for feasting. And sometimes, God is actually hiding His face when we are prospering, so that we will not depend on our own strength or resources to fight sin. It is then that we should be fasting. All too often, we make this equation in our heads: hard times mean that God is hiding, and prosperous times mean that God is obviously present. I think it can mean that, but it certainly is not always the case. A lot will depend on our orientation towards God in relation to the “good times.” Here is the sign by which you can tell what is happening: are you making an idol out of your “good times?” If you are, then God is probably hiding Himself when you have them, and you need to repent and fast, seeking God’s presence. In fact, you will discover that they are really not the truly good times in your life. But if you are spiritually minded, and count God’s presence by your spiritual maturity, then you will find that God is often obviously present just when you need Him most. This is not to take away from the fact that God often blesses us with ease and prosperity in this life. That is not necessarily a curse. My brother, for instance, has gone through some very difficult times in the last few years, during which God has been showing him many things. But now, he has finished school, and is engaged to be married, and has a job. He is entering “good times.” God is blessing him, I think, so that he will not falter under too much heaviness of life. So the application for us in all this is to trust always in Christ Jesus, whether in plenty or in want. Indeed, that is our wedding vow to Christ. We take a vow to our own spouses that we will love them in plenty or in want. The same is true of our vow to Christ. We will attend to Christ and love Him whether we are in difficult circumstances or in easy circumstances.

Jesus gives us two illustrations that are also difficult. The illustration itself is fairly easy to understand. But where Jesus is headed with it is not so easy. The first illustration concerns a matter of sewing. You have an old garment, and it has a tear in it. You want to put a patch in it. What you don’t want to do is to use a piece of unshrunk cloth as the patch. As soon as the patch gets wet, it will start to shrink (Jesus is talking about wool here, which shrinks when it gets wet). When that happens, it will tear away from the garment, probably taking some of the old fabric with it. That will make the tear worse. That is the first illustration.

The second illustration says the same thing, and is intended to make the same point, so I will explain it also before I get to its significance. The wine that we are talking about is new wine. That is, it is wine that is still fermenting. Wineskins were usually made of goatskins in those days. When they were new, they could stretch a bit when fermenting wine is put into them. The gases that came out of the fermentation process would not burst a new wine-skin. However, and old wineskin would have lost its flexibility. It wouldn’t have any capacity to expand with the gases that the fermenting wine would give off.

So those are the illustrations. Now, as to why Jesus brings them up here. There is obviously a contrast between old and new going on here. Remember, Jesus is still answering the question of fasting. I think that the old garment and the old wineskins refer to the way of Judaism and of John’s disciples, where outward signs such as fasting were taken for the inward truth. The problem is that those outward signs are not flexible enough to contain the newness of what Jesus is bringing. With Christ’s death and resurrection comes a new covenant. Now, here we must be careful. For we believe that the Old Testament saints were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ just as New Testament saints are. However, what it looked like in the Old Testament was an elaborate system of external signs, such as sacrifices and food laws. Those things are passed away. Fasting is no longer a sign of waiting for Jesus the Messiah to come the first time. We may still fast while we are waiting for Christ to come the second time. But fasting is no longer part of that system of signs that pointed forward. And Jesus is saying, I believe, that our general attitude towards the kingdom of God is that it is a feast. Christ is with us always, even to the end of the age.

We have to remember the distinction among the various parts of the law, lest we have problems in rightly applying this text to our lives. The law is usually distinguished into three parts. There is the moral law, which is the Ten Commandments. The moral law has three uses: firstly, to show us that we cannot obey it, (for it requires perfection) but to point us to the One Who did obey it, Jesus Christ. The moral law drives us to Christ. The second use of the moral law is to restrain evil-doing on the earth. If God had not given us this law, then mankind would be much more corrupt even than they are. As it is, there are many who are not as bad as they could possibly be. The third use of the moral law is as a guide to the Christian life. We do not obey the law in order to obtain salvation. Rather, we obey the moral law because we have already been saved. We obey it out of gratitude for Christ’s law-keeping, which is in our stead. All of what I have just said relates to the moral law. The civil law applied only to Old Testament Israel. These were the laws that God gave to Israel that marked them out from other nations. Laws such as what kinds of food they could eat. That is part of the civil law. That law comes to an end in Christ, in whom all nations of the world can come together and be blessed. The third division of the law was the sacrificial, or ceremonial law. This is the law regarding sacrifices made for sin, or for thanksgiving, or for some other reason. Those laws also came to an end in Christ Jesus, since He is the Perfect Sacrifice.

So, when you read your Old Testament, and you come to a law, ask yourself which of these three categories of law is it: moral, civil, or ceremonial? If it is moral, then you need to fall on your knees, ask God’s forgiveness for not obeying it, thank Jesus Christ for obeying it for you, and then ask God to help you obey that law out of gratitude for the salvation that He has so richly bestowed upon you. If it is a civil law, then look for how Christ has fulfilled that law. If it is a ceremonial law, then also look for how Christ is the Sacrifice to which that law points. Only in that way will you find the true application to your own heart.

This brief lesson about the law is necessary so that we can be discerning about the right time to fast and the right time to feast. What time is it? It is the New Testament time! Christ’s coming is a time of celebration, even though sometimes it might be appropriate to fast. But by and large, we are to be joyful in the Christian life. We are not have downcast faces. If we do, then we are making the same mistake that John the Baptists’s disciples and the Pharisees were making: we would be reading the times wrong, and not recognizing the entrance of our Lord onto the stage of history. This is the time for joy and feasting. We feast every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We feast every time we devour a truth from God’s Word, eagerly eating it up so that we may become even more discerning. We feast every time we share hospitality with friends and family. But whether you feast or fast, do it all for the glory of God. Amen.

Jesus Calls the Outcasts

Matthew 9:9-13

A man on vacation was strolling along outside his hotel in Acapulco, enjoying the sunny Mexican weather. Suddenly, he was attracted by the screams of a woman kneeling in front of a child. The man knew enough Spanish to determine that the child had swallowed a coin. Seizing the child by the heels, the man held him up, gave him a few shakes, and an American quarter dropped to the sidewalk. “Oh, thank you sir!” cried the woman. “You seemed to know just how to get it out of him. Are you a doctor?” “No, ma’am,” replied the man. “I’m with the United States Internal Revenue Service.” Well, if that man knew how to get money out of people, then I’m sure that Matthew knew how to do it. As a tax-collector, Matthew was very well-experienced in how to fleece people out of their money. And yet, such a despicable person is exactly the kind of person that Jesus called to be one of His disciples! Strange, isn’t it? Well, Jesus calls the outcasts.

Actually, tax-collectors were much more despised than IRS agents are today. For one thing, IRS agents are not allowed to take money from people on top of the taxes which they are supposed to get for the government. The office of tax-payer was sold by the Roman government to the highest bidder. Therefore, even to get the position you had to have quite a bit of ready cash. The only usual way to get money like that was by being a lender at interest. Usury, it is called. So the position attracted the less savory though obviously well-to-do characters of the time. But of course, if the office went to the highest bidder, then the person who won that bid would be wanting to charge as much as he could on everything. In those days, the tax-collector had the amazing power to determine what the taxes were going to be. There was a minimum amount set, but no maximum. It was nothing short of government robbery. And, since such tax-collectors were working for Rome, you can imagine how the nationalistic Jews felt about that. Tax-collectors were not only robbers, but also traitors. In fact, ancient rabbis declared the houses of tax-collectors to be ritually unclean, since tax-collectors had business with Gentiles so much of the time. And that is what Matthew was. He was one of those tax-collectors. He was a greedy, cruel, heartless man. And that is exactly why Jesus chose him to be a disciple. Jesus wanted to show the world just exactly what His grace could accomplish. That is why He called this outcast.

But there is more for us than that. Are we not all outcasts? Were we not all cast out of the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were cast out? We are all outcasts as well. And God calls us all to follow Him. Get up from your table of sin, and follow Jesus. Leave it behind.

But know this: you have to reckon with the cost. Matthew knew what he was leaving behind. He left behind very extensive wealth. He left behind a very profitable business in order to have infinite spiritual wealth. It is as Jim Elliott says, “He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.” What he was referring to was losing any worldly power, influence, wealth, pleasure, and anything else that might get in the way, in order to gain eternal spiritual wealth.

Well, the logical response of Matthew to this call is not only to invite Jesus to his home (have you invited Jesus into your home?), but also to invite all his old friends to the place where they can hear the Word of God. All of Matthew’s old friends come to hear Jesus preach. Obviously, there must be something about this Jesus, if Matthew can leave behind such a profitable business. Is it something better, they wonder? So they listen.

Some others are listening to Jesus as well. The Pharisees (who, remember, had already pronounced tax-collectors to be unclean) reproved the disciples for allowing their Master to eat with such people. As Matthew Henry puts it, “None was more quarreled with by men, than he who came to take up the great quarrel between God and man.” The Pharisees were always quarreling with Jesus because Jesus showed up their hypocrisy. Jesus certainly makes no exception to that point here. He shows them to be hypocrites. How does He do that? In a very subtle way. First, we have to understand the nature of the Pharisees’ objection. Eating with someone was a very friendly thing to do in those days, more so than today. Since you shared in the common pot, you wanted that person who shared in the common pot to be someone you trusted, and someone who was ceremonially clean. As we have already seen, the Pharisees did not consider tax-collectors to be clean people. So to them, Jesus and His disciples were eating with unclean people. Notice here that the Pharisees addressed themselves to the disciples. It is as if they do not really want to tackle the Master Himself, and so they go for the disciples. Notice also the implied scorn, “your teacher.” The implication is that Jesus doesn’t really know what He is doing, and that He doesn’t really know the law.

Jesus heard them, however, and immediately answered in such a way that the Pharisees had no answer. Jesus implies that the Pharisees are calling themselves “healthy,” but are not in fact healthy. There are few people in life who are in more danger than those who live in complete denial of their problems. Such is everyone who moves along blissfully in life without any notion of the peril in which their souls languish. This is one of the most dangerous aspects about sin: sin blinds us to our problems. Is it not the case that we are always trying to justify ourselves? We are always in the right, and the other guy is always in the wrong? Is it not the case that the sermon is always a good sermon to zap…someone else? I remember a Beetle Bailey cartoon where Beetle and one of his friends congratulated the preacher by saying, “Great sermon. You really zapped them today.” Upon which the preacher says, “How come the ones I am really trying to zap always say ‘them’?” Well, Jesus zaps all of us Pharisees at heart in this one. Anyone who thinks he is healthy is actually sick. The ones who know they are sick: ah, it is always easiest to help such people! Is it not easy to help people who ask for help? It is much easier! Jesus is not actually saying here that there are healthy people. He is saying that there are people who think they are healthy, and people who know they are not healthy.

That is why Jesus quotes from Hosea 6:6. Now, we must be careful here. Jesus is not diminishing sacrifice here. This is really a Hebrew way of saying “I prefer this to that.” God prefers mercy to sacrifice. Sacrifice is something that Jesus is here equating with all of the OT regulations and detailed laws. God would rather have mercy on someone than that the person would offer a burnt offering. Worship of God is more important than what you sacrifice in life to God. All too often, we come to think of our sacrifices as something for which God owes us.

But here is the good news. There is hope even for Pharisees. Notice there that Jesus is saying that the Pharisees are sinners, and that they are not as healthy as they think they are. They may not be in a position at that moment to believe in Jesus. However, it is clear that some Pharisees came to Christ. The most famous Pharisee of all was the apostle Paul. There is some evidence that Nicodemus came to faith. So, when I say that Jesus calls the outcasts to the faith, what I mean is that we are all outcasts in one way or another. We are all cast out of God’s presence in and of ourselves. We all belong to a caste that doesn’t really belong in the house of God. As a sad illustration of people being blind to this, there is the story of Mahatma Ghandi. At one point in his life, he was reading the Gospels seriously, and was considering becoming a Christian. He thought that the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be the answer to the caste system that they have in India. However, when he came to a Christian church one Sunday to attend the worship service, the people of the church rejected him, and told him that he should go worship with people of his own religion. Ghandi had this devastating thing to say about that church, “If they have castes in Christianity, then there is no reason for me to leave my native Hinduism.” What is so sad about that story is that the Gospel really does have the power to overcome the caste system in India. In fact, we are seeing it today. The Gospel is reaching out to the pariahs, who are the lowest caste system in India. And the Gospel is spreading very fast indeed among them. But the Gospel is also reaching out to the upper castes of the system, in such a way that upper caste people are worshiping side by side with pariahs. As Paul says, in Christ Jesus there is neither slave nor free. There is neither Pharisee, nor tax-collector. There is neither Dutch nor Native American. There is neither white nor black. For, since we were all outcasts, we who once were far off have now been brought near by the blood of the Lamb. With whom will you eat?

Healing and Forgiveness

Matthew 9:1-8

Job was a man who became very sick. He had lost all his possessions. He had almost lost his wife as well, since she urged him to curse God and die. Then Satan touched his body, and covered him from head to foot in nasty sores. Was it because of some specific sin that Job had been thus attacked by Satan? No. We know that it was because God wanted to test Job’s faith. And Job’s faith held out, although there were quite a few things that he said that he shouldn’t have said. However, Job teaches us that there is not necessarily a one-to-one correspondence between a sin that we have committed, and some calamity that befalls us. However, as we shall see here in this passage, there often is a correspondence.

Jesus has just finished casting out demons from those two demon-possessed men. The townspeople have asked him to leave. And so He does. He goes back to the other side of the lake. He comes back to His own city. That city is almost certainly Capernaum, where Jesus did most of His ministry. We know from the other Gospels that Jesus starts to preach again when He gets back. In fact, he is in a house. And some men, who really, really like their friend, and trust in Jesus, lower their paralytic friend through the tiles in the roof, down to where Jesus is. That is the same story as this one, even though Matthew doesn’t tell us about those other details.

Jesus sees their faith. Whose faith does Jesus see? Presumably, it is not only the friends’ faith, but also the paralytic’s faith. However, there is a problem. Obviously, the paralytic is afraid. Otherwise, why would Jesus say to him, “Take heart?” The paralytic needed courage. Why? I think the most reasonable answer is that the paralytic felt guilty about his sin. Jesus does immediately go on to say that the paralytic’s sins were forgiven. It is as if forgiveness is the reason why the paralytic can take heart. If this is true, then it follows that the paralytic’s condition was at least somehow connected to his condition of paralysis. But Jesus knows what the deeper problem is. The deeper problem is the sin of the paralytic. That is always the deepest problem. That is our deepest problem. All too often, we look at our circumstances, and think to ourselves that they are the real problem. If only I could get rich, or if only I could find love, or if only I could find fulfillment in life, then I would get better. Then I would feel great. But that is not our real problem. We can prove it, in fact. Look at the very rich people who have everything they want. Are they happy? No. In fact, suicide is more common among the rich than among the poor. The poor can always strive to achieve more. But the rich can often feel that there is nothing more for them to do, and that therefore their lives are over. No, our deepest problem is sin.

What is sin? Sin is a transgression of God’s law. That means that God is the offended party when it comes to sin. Only God can forgive sins. The scribes and the Pharisees know this. That is why they think Jesus is blaspheming. They assume that Jesus is not, in fact, God, and so they can come to the conclusion that Jesus is blaspheming. Their logic goes like this: Only God can forgive sins; Jesus is not God; therefore Jesus cannot forgive sins. To claim a prerogative that belongs to God alone is blasphemy. Therefore, Jesus is blaspheming. It is important to recognize here that the logic is actually valid, even though the conclusion is false. The reason the conclusion is false is that Jesus is, in fact, God. The scribes have to assume that Jesus is not God in order to come to their conclusion. But it is a false assumption.

But what is definitely more difficult for us to understand is the response that Jesus gives. What is the point of Jesus question in verse 5? Is He claiming that one is easier than the other? Or is it merely rhetorical? This is one of those places in Scripture where our own assumptions get in the way of the text. We would probably think that anyone can say, “you are forgiven.” But to say to a paralytic “Get up and walk” is much more difficult, since it would require some kind of verification. However, that is not actually how Jewish people thought in those days. The far harder thing was to forgive sins. They indeed thought that only God had the power to forgive sins. They knew that God had the power to make a sick person well. There were plenty of examples of people getting healed in those days. So, Jesus is assuming that the forgiveness of sins is more difficult than the healing of the paralytic. How does Jesus reasoning go, then? It goes like this: (Jesus speaking) “If I don’t have the authority to forgive sins, then there is no way that God would give me the power to make this man walk. But I am making this man walk. Therefore, you should believe also that God has given me the power to forgive sins.” As a matter of fact, Jesus is claiming more than that. He is claiming to be God. Notice what an impression this miracle has on the people who are listening. They were afraid (probably because of their own sin), and they glorified God. It does not say that they became Christians. However, they had no answer to Jesus’ reasons and demonstration.

One last curious thing about the passage is the very last phrase. Why does Matthew say that the crowd glorified God, because God had given such authority to men? Is the crowd misunderstanding Jesus here? Or is Matthew saying that Jesus is the representative Man, to Whom has been given this authority? I think we can conclude that the crowd knew some things about Jesus, but that we know more things about Jesus. The crowd knew that Jesus was a man who had this kind of authority. They might still have thought that Jesus was still a man. In fact, it is almost certain that they still thought so. For they are still some of the ones who will seek to have Jesus crucified later on. And they reject Jesus’ teaching, since they (think they) know that Jesus is only a man. But Matthew shows us that Jesus as the God-man has complete authority to forgive sins.

How can Jesus forgive our sins, when we are paralyzed by our sin, paralyzed by guilt, paralyzed by fear? Jesus is gentle in such cases, isn’t He? As the Scripture says, He does not snuff out a smoldering wick, nor does He break the bruised reed. Instead, He gives grace. He says to us, “Take heart. Believe on Me, and your sins are forgiven. All the rest will be laid to rest.” He is gentle. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It is as light as the bed the paralytic took home when he rose to walk again. So, are you paralyzed by sin, guilt, or fear? Then be paralyzed no longer. When Matthew says that such authority has been given to men, Matthew also means to tell us that the Holy Spirit works in the power of the Gospel to make such things come to pass even today in our spiritual lives. We have the authority of Scripture to declare to people that if they come to faith in Jesus Christ, then they can be healed in spirit, and healed in body as well, though that may have to wait until we receive our resurrection bodies. But sometimes God heals our bodies in this life as well. Then we are thrice blessed. To receive forgiveness of sins, healing of body, and a resurrection body, what more could we possibly want?

Do you glorify God for what He has done in your life? Do you reverence God as you ought, fearing God rather than men? You may not be like Job. Your sin may be the cause of your sickness. Sin in general is certainly the cause of sickness in this world. If Adam had not sinned, then there would never have been any sickness. But individual sins may not be the cause of a particular sickness. But if you think that your particular sin may be the cause of paralysis in your life, you may be right. Jesus says, “Take heart. Trust in Me. And your sins will be forgiven, and your body will be healed, if not now, then certainly in the Resurrection.”