March 8

Text: Matthew 9:2, 3

And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven."  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes." (NASB)

It was a gift occasion.  The 5 year old grandson made it very clear to grandpa that he wanted a specific toy truck.  Grandpa’s gift was a government bond that would be worth $5000 at maturity.  The grandson was deeply disappointed—the disappointment was evident in his face.  He had no idea that grandpa’s piece of paper was worth much more than a toy truck!  Maturity later would value the paper’s worth!

A paralyzed man’s friends, with great faith, carried him to Jesus.  Jesus forgave the man’s sins—I doubt that is what they wanted.  Wonder if anyone knew what a great gift the man received?  Wonder if his friends were disappointed because they expected the man to walk home?

Some scribes murmured among themselves, “Who does he think he is?  Forgiving sins!  Everyone knows only God can do that!”

To demonstrate to the scribes that he had the right to forgive sins, Jesus healed the man.  The multitude who served as witnesses got the point.  They glorified God who had given such authority to people.  Jesus did the miracle, and God received the credit—for the forgiveness and the healing.  Jesus was God’s proxy!

What do you value as divine blessings?  Do you want freedom from physical pain, no physical disease, and excellent physical relationships, or mercy, grace, and forgiveness?  Do you know superior gifts when you receive them, or do you say, “Who does Jesus think he is?”  Do you value the physically “real” and question the spiritual which you do not see?

Suggestion for reflection: Do I know who Jesus is, or do I question his gifts?  (Read Ephesians 1:3-14.)

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