A Paralytic HealedSeries: Faith in Action
The most distinctive message of Christianity is the reality that sin can be forgiven, Ezekiel 34.6-7. It’s not this way in manmade religion. It’s only in Christianity where you see God freely offering a relationship with Himself, not based on our efforts, but based on what He has done for us. This is the message of our text today in Matthew 9.1-8.
Understanding the Setting
- Jesus has returned to his own city, which is Capernaum, Mark 2.1. He was “at home.”
- Back come the crowds. There was no more room, not even at the door, Mark 2.2.
- Luke 5.17 - He was teaching. Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there.
- Anticipation is in the air: The power of the Lord was with him to heal.
9.1-2: Jesus Offers Pardon
- 9.2a: Behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. Mark 2.3: four men.
- 9.2b - No need for the man to say anything. His need is easy to see.
- Jesus saw their faith … of all 5 … Jesus is a helper to those in physical need.
- Take heart, my son,… Words of warmth and encouragement.
- Your sins are forgiven… totally shocking and unexpected. Just astounding.
- The instant Jesus spoke this, the mans’ sins were dismissed.
- Completely. Never to be found again. Psalm 103:12; Micah 7.19
- Only God is able to send our sins away in this manner.
9.3: The Scribes have a Problem
- 9.3 - Some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”
- Since they refused to recognize Jesus’ deity, this could be the only conclusion.
- This is sad. How many miracles had they witnessed already?
- Every miracle drove them deeper into unbelief instead of repentance.
9.4-7: Jesus Asserts His Power
- 9.4a -But Jesus, knowing their thoughts… Only God can do this. God knows the hearts of all the children of mankind, 1 Kings 8.39.
- 9.4b - Why do you think evil in your hearts? Stunningly direct.
- 9.5 - Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
- Both require the same power of God. He can do both things with divine ease.
- 9.6 - But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” he then said to the paralytic, ‘Rise, pick up your bed and go home.
- Concrete evidence is provided proving He can forgive sin.
- Luke 5.25 - and immediately he rose up before them…
9.8 - The People Praise
- 9.8a - they were afraid. NASB: “awestruck.”
- 9.8b - they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Three Things for Us:
- How strong is our love for others? Will we move with conviction?
- How solid is our faith?
- Is it persistent? Creative? Sacrificial?
- Are we wiling to pay the price? Matthew 16.24, 26
- Come near to the Lord with a broken and contrite spirit … and like the man we talked about today … He’ll heal your soul. Will you receive Him?