Recently, I was reading through Matthew 9 and I was particularly struck by the story of Jesus and the paralytic man.
9 Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2 Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”
3 But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?” 4 Jesus knew[a] what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 6 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[b] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
7 And the man jumped up and went home! 8 Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for sending a man with such great authority
First, these people brought a helpless man who could not walk to Jesus for healing, even when he was too weak or unable to do it himself. That hit me because of our need for fellowship. Many times, it is through the help and efforts of other people that we are lead to Jesus. I was also especially struck by the first words that Jesus says to the paralyzed man…”be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” In The Message, it says, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” I love it! From the very first words that Jesus says to him, He is telling the man, “I am all you need.”
I relate well to the paralyzed man. I am helpless. Too often when I am helpless, though, I want to pick myself up and try to figure everything out on my own and keep going. When we’re helpless, though, we can’t do that. Sometimes we just have to let other people carry us to Jesus so He can utter those same words to us that He said to the paralytic man; “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” If I have nothing else, I at least have what I need.
More on this passage soon! Be Blessed, friends…