TEXT: Matthew 9:1-8
1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Adam Clarke said, “Moral evil has been the cause of all the natural evil in the world. Christ goes to the source of the malady, which is sin; and to that as the procuring cause we should refer in all our afflictions.”
On the heels of the encouragement to “be of good cheer,” Jesus tells the paralyzed man, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” The forgiveness of sins is indeed a reason to be of good cheer. But, perhaps, it may have seemed out of place from the perspective of a man who saw his main problem in life as being paralyzed, so much so that he had given up hope that he could ever be healed.
When he heard Jesus say, “Be of good cheer,” he likely thought (like any of us would), “Be of good cheer about what?” He did not think he had any reason to be cheerful. He was paralyzed and bedridden. If he wanted to go somewhere, he had to be carried by his friends. Yet, the command remains: “Be of good cheer.” Jesus gives him a reason to be of good cheer when he tells him that his sins are forgiven. Surely, this paralyzed man had sinned. In the common interpretation of spiritual principles of that day, the man likely saw his paralysis as a a result of some sin in his past. So, the news that God had forgiven his sin was undoubtedly good.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe comments, “We do not know if the man’s physical condition was the result of his sin. But we do know that Jesus dealt with the sin problem first, for this is always the greatest need. We must not conclude from this miracle that all sickness is caused by sin, or that forgiveness automatically means physical healing. More important than the healing of this man’s body was the cleansing of his heart. He went home with both a sound body and a heart at peace with God.”
Jesus knew that this man needed more than physical healing. He needed spiritual healing as well. He needed the good news that God had forgiven him of his sin. What would have been worse than his paralysis would have been if this man had gone home with a healed body but a broken heart and a broken soul. While his healed body would have been cause for great celebration with his friends, the man would have soon found out that a sin-sick soul is more damaging and more detrimental than any sickness of the body. And that is what each of us will find when we come before the Lord seeking healing of any kind.
Anne Steele wrote:
Deep are the wounds that sin has made;
Where shall the sinner find a cure?
In vain, alas, is nature’s aid,
The work exceeds all nature’s power.
Sin like a raging fever reigns,
With fatal strength in every part;
The dire contagion fills the veins,
And spreads its poison to the heart.
There is a great Physician near;
Look up, O fainting soul, and live;
See, in His heav’nly smiles appear
Such ease as nature cannot give!
See, in the dying Savior’s blood,
Life, health, and bliss, abundant flow!
‘Tis only this dear, sacred flood
Can ease thy pain, and heal thy woe.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.