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.
Philip Schaff said, “The pardon of the paralytic was a foreshadowing of the rending of the veil of the temple, promising direct intercourse between God and the sinner, yet through the Son of man.”
As we return to this passage, we find Jesus at an impasse with the scribes among his audience in Capernaum. Jesus has declared forgiveness to the paralyzed man. The man, however, is still paralyzed. The scribes are criticizing Jesus for seeming to do something that only God can do; they have branded him a blasphemer. So, Jesus puts a question to them: ‘Which is easier: to heal a paralyzed man or to declare forgiveness of sin?’ Of course, only one of these things could be evidenced in the natural. However, the scribes know that only God’s power can do both. The people gathered to hear Jesus teach would not have assumed that Jesus is God; they saw Him as a great teacher, a prophet even. But the scribes and other religious experts knew the implication of what Jesus was saying. According to their theology, only God could forgive sins and only God could perform miraculous healings — and they were unwilling to admit before the people that Jesus was doing the work of God. That He was God.
Jesus, however, saves them from their discomfort with His answer: “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.” Jesus gave them something they could see in order to demonstrate that He also had power over the things they could not see.
With Jesus’ miracle, we return our focus to the paralyzed man. The Bible tells us “he arose and departed to his house.” Dr. John MacArthur comments, “As soon as Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Rise, take up your bed, and go home, that is exactly what the man did.’ The command to rise suggests that, when Jesus spoke, the healing had already taken place. No description of this act of healing is recorded, only the command to the paralytic to take advantage of it. At Jesus’ word, the man rose, and went home. Mark adds that he ‘immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all’ — a living testimony to Jesus’ power both to heal and to forgive sins.”
You can imagine the man’s four friends scrambling down from the rooftop to join their healed companion and celebrate with him. Wherever this man went, his family, his friends, and people who had seen him before, received a testimony to the power of God. Sins forgiven! Paralysis reversed! When the crowd saw this, the Bible says “they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” The crowd still did not see Jesus as God, but they directed their praise to the right place. They knew that such power could only come from God.
The word translated as “marvelled” comes from the Greek word “phobeo” which is contemporarily translated as “fear.” However, that is not how the Bible writers use this term; they use it to mean “awe” or “reverence.” John MacArthur writes, “In the synoptic gospels and Acts, the term is never used to speak of anything other than the feeling in a person’s heart when he is confronted with divine power, and it is declared to be a part of the Christian’s attitude as he seeks to faithfully serve the Lord. Reverential awe of God is a part of the truly repentant life, the chaste life, the holy life, and the godly life. Mutual ministry, love, and respect, as well as powerful evangelism and proper church discipline, are all grounded in reverential awe of the Lord. It is the substance out of which all right Christian worship, behavior, and service must come.”
Franklin Eiland wrote:
Do you seek relief for your sin-sick soul?
You to Christ, then, must make appeal,
There’s no other one who can make you whole,
You must come where the blood can heal!
Other proffered aids will only deceive,
At your will, unto life, they steal!
You must look to Christ if you’d hope receive,
You must come where the blood can heal!
If you would arise from your bed of pain,
To the counsel of Christ you must kneel,
‘Tis prescribed by Him, and your only hope,
You must come where the blood can heal!
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.