September 9, 2020

And 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." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This Man is blaspheming" (Matthew 9:2-3).

The word 'blaspheme' originally meant 'to speak evil of someone', to hurt a person with words, to blame someone unjustly. When applied to Jesus, it meant to charge Him with acts and attributes He didn't possess, or to say He was evil and godless. It also meant to say or do something by which God's name is dishonored or insulted; to attempt to do or say in one's own name which only God can do. That's the meaning here.

The Scribes called Jesus a blasphemer because he told a man his sins were forgiven by His own authority. Since only God can forgive sins, Jesus claimed to be God. He then revealed His divine authority, His divine power, as well as the Scribes’ prejudice.

But the issue goes deeper than this. To say "Your sins are forgiven" conveys the healing of the whole man, not just the physical man. "Your sins are forgiven" gets to the heart of the issue and reveals why Jesus really came to us.

To prove He was God in the flesh and had the authority to heal, Jesus removed the stigma of sin by forgiving the man, and then healed his paralysis. Remember, in the theology of the Pharisees and Scribes, a person who had a physical or mental malady or handicap was a sinner cursed by God. By removing the physical paralysis, Jesus proved He had the power to remove God’s judgment for sin. This silenced the scoffers and caused everyone else to be awe-struck at His authority and power.

Scripture teaches that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory (holy and righteous standards; Romans 3:23). Because of this we all suffer the curse of sin (Genesis 3:14-19). We also know that some personal activities result in physical, mental, and emotional problems (Acts 6:13-11), but not all physical, mental, and emotional problems result from personal sins (John 9:1-3).

This encounter with the paralytic stresses the authority and power of Jesus as the Son of God who can forgive our sin and heal our physical, mental, and emotional lives, if it is His will (Matthew 8:2-3). But we must come to Him, if faith, believing He can, and will make us spiritually and physically whole.

"Thank You Father, that Jesus proved Himself to be Your Son and our Messiah countless times. Thank You that His ministry silenced the critics, put to shame the hypocrites, and defeated the enemy. Thank You for opening our eyes to the truth of who Jesus really is - not just a worker of miracles, but Lord and Savior of those who put their faith and trust in Him. Amen."


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