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Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man


Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man

Matthew 9:1-7

Matthew has a point to make, and he concentrates on that point.  He wants to remove all the ‘human interest’ details that are recorded in the other gospels, so that we can clearly see Jesus demonstrating his divine attributes, leading up to Peter’s Confession that He is the Christ.

Jesus is the Source of Encouragement. And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

Take heart!  Literally, cheer up!

  1. Jesus was not perturbed by distractions! The man has been lowered down in front of Jesus, – his teaching has been interrupted. Would he be angry at such an unexpected distraction? Not at all!  His first words are of comfort and cheer!
  2. A message of comfort. And look how Jesus encourages this man He talks about FORGIVENESS!  The most comforting words we can hear are the words that declare that all of our sins have been forgiven by Jesus, through His redeeming work on the cross.
  3. A reference to faith! The forgiveness offered to us freely at the cross is always accepted by faith.  You cannot work to get this or earn it, even if those good works are religious works.  Ephesians 2:8-9,  That itself is a comfort and encouragement, for our works would cease and fail!

That loving forgiveness in Jesus, appropriated by faith alone, is enough to thrill our souls and bring us comfort and encouragement.

Jesus is the Source of Authority.

The encouraging words for the paralysed man had an opposite effect on the Jewish lawyers, which in itself is the opportunity for more revelations of Christ’s divine nature, for…

  1. He is God incarnate! 3And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming Only God can forgive sins, for primarily every sin is a sin against God. Ps 51:4    Because of that, only God can forgive all our sins.  When Jesus told the paralysed man that his sins were forgiven, he was taking upon himself a function that only God could enact.   He is saying that he is God.
  2. He is omniscient. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? He knows exactly what the scribes are thinking, for he knows what is in the heart of man!    Acts 1:24  So a demonstration of Divine Authority is necessary, but first Jesus poses them a rhetorical question…. 5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  Then he proved it!
  3. He is omnipotent. 6But 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.” 7And he rose and went home.
    1. He declares his divine authority
    2. He demonstrates his power

He has authority of earth!  He showed that authority that day, and it s an authority that he has never relinquished.  He is King of Kings.

Jesus is the Source of Redemption. 8When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

It s very important that we are careful when we speak about Jesus to others, that we correctly present him in all his divinity, and make much of his Kingly authority, for how we speak of him will determine the reaction of those who listen.  Today, for many the name of Jesus is blasphemed and mocked and belittled.  We must address this in our speech and our attitudes.   Carefully notice the reaction of the crowds to you correct understanding of the person of Christ…

  1. The Fear of God. They ‘marvelled.’ – or they were ‘afraid.’  The fear of God is the very first reaction of a soul under conviction of sin. Psalm 110:10, Rev 1:17
  2. The Worship of God. They GLORIFIED Him!  Do you see, their eyes were taken off themselves and they began to give him the glory, – for the very purpose of mankind, the reason we were made is to Glorify God and to live in his presence!
  3. The Gift of God. who had given such authority to men.  Now let’s be careful here.  We do not have the same authority as Christ.  He is God’s Son, and we are weak and sinful human beings.  Let us not think that we can be given the gift of Christ-like authority over illness and demons etc.  Jesus is the One with such authority, and He alone, – but HE, the authority of God, manifest in the flesh, has been given to men as a gift from God.  God’s gift to mankind is Jesus.  2 Corinthians 9:15  

So Matthew, writing for the benefit of Jews, who will have a tendency to reject the Messiahship of Christ, is building up a case, presenting the miracles of Jesus as proof of His Godhood.

© Bob McEvoy  13th September 2015

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