Jesus forgives and heals

Matthew 9:1 – 8

In this story of the paralytic
I see two main parts

The first concerns “their faith” (verse 2)
The second concerns forgiveness of sins
And healing

“Then behold,
they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.
When Jesus saw their faith,
He said to the paralytic,
“Son, be of good cheer;
your sins are forgiven you.””
(Matthew 9:2)

“Jesus saw their faith”

HOW do you SEE faith?
What does “faith” look like?

Now to start off it says “they”
Which is plural – at least TWO

And if we assume the paralytic
Was lying on something like a stretcher
Then that would point to FOUR people
One on each side – front and back

Now is Jesus talking about the four people
Or all five – including the paralytic?

We don’t know
But there are various scenarios that can play out here

In the first scenario, the paralytic has great faith
For he definitely has the “need”
And having heard about Jesus
Persuades four friends
To carry him to Jesus

Then in the second scenario
The four friends want to help their ill friend
And persuade him to allow them
To take him to Jesus

And then perhaps finally
There is the case of all five working together
To approach Jesus for help

But what DID Jesus SEE?

I believe it was the assurance that they
Were confident that Jesus COULD heal him

They did not approach Jesus
“A hopin’ and a prayin’ that perhaps He might…”
Be able to do something…

No there was a confidence in their approach

And this confidence
This assurance is what Jesus saw
This absolute certainty and trust in Jesus

And for THAT
Is why Jesus said what He said

Which leads us onto the second part of the story

How could Jesus forgive sins?

Now this is the part that may cause US
The most problem

I say this because if we were presented
With the question that Jesus asked
Our answer would be the exact OPPOSITE
Of what the people watching might have said

“For which is easier, to say,
‘Your sins are forgiven you,’
or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?”
(Matthew 9:5)

OUR answer would be:
“Your sins are forgiven you”

Because very few people would
Dare to say. “Arise and walk”

And the reason is
“What if it DOESN’T work”

So if you think like that
It screams of your LACK of faith

We live in a world of

If we can’t see it
How can we know it is true?

But in the case of the Jewish leaders
That Jesus was talking to
It was definitely EASIER to say:
“Arise and walk”

Since ONLY God could forgive SINS

The blasphemy that they were thinking
Jesus had committed
Is that Jesus was claiming to be God

And how could a mere man – be God?
(In their eyes)

TODAY we have the wisdom and insight
Of having the entire Bible

We KNOW how the story plays out
We KNOW that Jesus IS God

But these people DID NOT

It is so easy for us today
To look at this story and put ourselves
On the side of the friends with the paralytic

But we need to be careful
That we might actually have more in common
With those who questioned Jesus and His actions

How many of us are willing
To do what Jesus did?

The Bible tells us in Mark 16
That these signs will follow those who believe
“They will lay hands on the sick
And they will recover”

Do we readily “lay hands on the sick”?
Because, after all, we ARE those who believe?

Or do we just talk about what Jesus did
And what Jesus CAN do
But do not take any action ourselves

This may seem harsh to some who are reading this
But if you are among those who
Only TALK about what Jesus did
Then you are with those who questioned
The actions of Jesus in Matthew 9:1 – 8

On the other hand
Any who do lay hands on the sick
Believing in healing as Jesus says in Mark 16
Are those who have faith
Like Jesus saw with the friends of the paralytic

Choose wisely which you are

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