Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Who Needs a Doctor?
9 1-3 Back in the boat, Jesus and the disciples recrossed the sea to Jesus’ hometown. They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!”
4-8 Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this, he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” And the man did it. The crowd was awestruck, amazed, and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.
-Matthew 9:1-8 The Message
A Paralyzed Man Healed
9 Verse 1 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee and came to His own city.
Verse 1: Jesus’ base of operations is in his own city of Capernaum, which is a good challenge for Jesus. It’s a wealthy city because of its trade and fishing. Capernaum sits on the Sea of Galilee in a populated area that housed the Roman garrison that kept peace in the region. The city is a cultural melting pot, influenced by Greek and Roman manners, dress, architecture, and politics.
Verse 2: And they brought to Him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”
Verse 2 study: The first words to the paralytic is, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus then healed him. We shouldn’t concentrate on God’s power to heal physical sickness. God’s power to forgive spiritual sickness is more powerful because sin needs to be forgiven. Jesus didn’t see just physical sickness; he saw spiritual health, which is the only way to get it is from Christ.
The man’s body and spirit were paralyzed; he couldn’t walk, nor did he know Jesus. The man’s spiritual state was Jesus’ first concern. Sometimes, God won’t heal someone we love physically because physical healing is not always Christ’s first concern. We all will be healed entirely in Christ’s coming kingdom, but we have to know Jesus.
Verse 3: And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!”
Verse 3 study: The word blaspheming (/blasˈfēm,ˈblasˌfēm/) is claiming to be God and applying his characteristics to yourself. Religious leaders saw that Jesus was claiming to be God. However, they didn’t understand that Jesus is God and has the authority to forgive sin and heal.
Verse 4: And Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?
Verse 5: For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
Verse 6: But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.”
Verse 7: And he got up and went home.
Verse 8: But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Verses 5-6 studies: Isn’t it easy to tell someone that their sins are forgiven? In the case of paralysis, it’s not that easy. So Jesus backed his words by healing the man’s legs. Jesus is always true to his words; he had the power to forgive and heal. Talk is cheap, but our words lack meaning if our actions don’t back it up. We can say we love God, but do our actions show it? If it doesn’t, it is empty words and meaningless. How well do your actions back up your words? What practical steps are you taking to improve your actions and words?
Matthew 4:13; Mark 5:21
Matthew 4:24; 9:6; 9:22; 14:27; Mark 6:50; 10:49; John 16:33, Acts 23:11
Mark 3:28, 29
Matthew 12:25; Luke 6:8; 9:47
Matthew 9:2, 6
Matthew 8:20, John 5:27; Matthew 4:24; 9:2
Matthew 5:16; 15:31; Luke 2:20; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 23:47; John 15:8; Acts 4:21; 11:18; 21:20; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 1:24
We continue to read the miracles you perform. We learn that we can’t always be worried about physical wellness when healing because it is not always your top priority; it is always spiritual sickness. So, Father, I pray today that in a healing situation, we understand the difference and know that you are in control. Let us know that your top priority may be different from ours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.