Monday, March 6, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 36

                                Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 36: He saw their Faith

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 9: 1-8

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
We are told, that Jesus, 'came to his own town.' He is in Galilee, but not in Nazareth. My commentary said that He was in Capernaum-which is the home town of Peter. (I love looking at the Biblical maps, in the back of the Bible, so I can fully understand where everything is taking place and to see all the places that Jesus traveled in His three year ministry). 
2" Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat." Jesus gets out of His boat, arrives in Capernaum and people are already coming towards Him for healing, and I think Jesus was impressed. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Jesus didn't ask them, "Do you want me to heal you?" or "What would you like me to do for you?" He didn't even wait for them to ask Him. He saw their hearts, their faith and assures them that healing is here. 
I'm impressed too. This paralyzed man, on his mat, couldn't get to Jesus without his friends. His friends had to have loved the paralyzed man so much that they stopped what they were doing, traveled with this guy, (walking and carrying him through the streets) to bring their friend to Jesus. Not only did they have faith for their friend, they must have loved him very much. It's also so fascinating to me that the Bible doesn't say, 'When Jesus saw his faith'- it says, "When Jesus saw their faith." The friends didn't bring the paralyzed man their just on his own bequest, it was theirs too. They wanted this healing for their friend and they had the faith for it. (Jesus, may I be such a friend). 
At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” (Matthew 9:3) It is amazing to me that someone could look at this touching scene and find something to gossip or contend with. But there they are, off to the side, not willing to lend a hand, but standing and gossiping.
4 "Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man." (Matthew 9:4-8) 
Verse four makes me happy. "Knowing their thoughts." Jesus heard their evil thoughts and didn't allow them to get away with it. He challenges them, "Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven' or to say 'Get up and walk?' (The teachers of the law that Jesus was addressing couldn't do either: forgive or heal). So, Jesus tells them who He is- the Son of Man. I looked up 'Son of Man' and it comes from the prophesy in the Book of Daniel, from the Old Testament. 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14) The teachers of the law would know this prophesy well, and would have understood what Jesus was saying about Himself. 
I think, Jesus basically is saying, 'I am the Son of Man and if you don't believe me, well, then, I'll heal this poor, paralyzed man, and then you'll know. He heals the man right in front of their eyes. The once paralyzed, mat traveling guy, gets up, takes his mat and goes home! That was the best lesson these teachers of the law ever had.
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for your compassion. Thank you for seeing the faith in the hearts of the friends and paralyzed man and not only forgiving him of his sin, but healing him too. Two things I pray, 1. That I would be such a friend. One that would 'carry' the pray requests in faith for my friends and 2. that I would be forgiven and healed of my sin and brokenness. Lord, when I look at the teachers of the law's attitude, I pray that I will not be critical, or faithless in you. Help me to know deeper and deeper that you are for me and not against me. Help me to continue to see your compassion and love for your people and know that you love me too. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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