One of the great consolations of the Christian faith is that our Savior has identified with us in our humanity. Jesus was God incarnate, forced to deal with all the foibles of the flesh. He feels our pain. One of the letter writers in scripture put it this way:
For we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus “walked a mile in our shoes”, as the old saying goes. He faced the same temptations, suffering, grief, and loss that we do. So much more in fact.
But in every respect? What about the disabled? Jesus got around just fine from what I can tell. No wheelchair, scooter, or even cane were required to walk on water. (There’s a picture for you.) No paralysis kept him from serving bread and fish to the multitudes. His voice, sight, and hearing were all intact. It looks as if He was fully able, except in being able to identify with those who aren’t.
Or maybe there’s more to this picture.
A key facet of Jesus’s life, a key part of Christian theology, is that Jesus gave up His divine rights, or as St. Paul put it, he…
…emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Although He is God incarnate, He willingly refused to take advantage of the “privileges” that role conferred on Him. When Peter tried to defend Him by force before His crucifixion, He told the man:
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
So Jesus disabled Himself by waiving His divine right to protection. Neither did He use any miraculous powers to protect Himself. He only used them to serve others: to heal, to teach, and to save.
MS can take away all our human faculties. It has the power. But it’s nothing compared to the power willingly relinquished by God when He became a man, a disabled Savior.
I’m comforted by that fact.