Tuesday 08 March 2022

Bible Book:

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.' (v. 2)

Matthew 9:2-8 Tuesday 8 March 2022

Psalm 95


 Life can feel cold, lonely, unbearable and impossible when we encounter the challenges of life. However, accepting or offering forgiveness is one of the most powerful human experiences. It is liberating and life-giving. Our true and deepest selves can be experienced in forgiveness. In addition, the Spirit of God within us always creates an unremitting longing for forgiveness and reconciliation, which seems to be the beginning, the middle and the end of the transformative message of the gospel.

In the text today, Jesus shows his audience there’s more to him than meets the eye. I am in awe of how Jesus seems to be reaching out to us across the centuries desiring to heal us too. The text records that Jesus goes back to his hometown in Capernaum where he encounters a paralysed man lying on a bed carried by his friends. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." (v. 2)  I am surprised that Jesus says to the paralytic “your sins are forgiven.”

In the rest of today's passage (Matthew 9:3-8) Jesus rebukes the scribes who think he is blaspheming and tells the paralysed man to stand up and walk.

I am struck by how Jesus sees all of us either as being in need of forgiveness or having a limited and sinful human nature. In the text, Jesus encourages us to adopt a gentle, forgiving or accepting attitude to this limited side of ourselves. Jesus is moved by the faith and concern of the paralysed man’s friends and he heals him both spiritually and physically.

We too are called to go to God in the company of others. The paralysed man and his friends demonstrate that, while faith is personal, it is not to be a private enterprise. Faith brings the needs of others to our attention, and faith in Jesus gives an inspiration to participate in the work of the Spirit in healing the broken and those in need.

Time spent with Jesus brings the truth in focus. The text records three encouraging phrases of Jesus, "Take heart...stand up...go home." Jesus restored both health and wholeness. That is good news! Jesus longs for his people to live fully and freely. He reminds us that faith is not just a matter of our convictions, but is expressed in how we live.  Today, Jesus challenges the world to forgive sins and to transform lives. The same calling led to the ultimate death of Jesus on the cross. However, I am awed by how in this narrative, Jesus disrupts the recognised power structures.


To Ponder:

  • In what ways does our community display self-righteous and judgemental attitudes?
  • How can we offer genuine friendship and empathy, emulating  the paralysed man's friends?
  • Following in Jesus’ footsteps, what steps can we take to disrupt unfair and domineering power structures?
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