Jesus Forgives Sin
(Read Matt 9:1-13)
Jesus came to bring forgiveness and victory over sin. He attended to man's spiritual needs before He dealt with his physical problems. A paralytic man was brought to Jesus by four men carrying in a bed (Mark 2:3). Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic” Your sins are forgiven”. Some of the scribes accused Jesus of blasphemy because only God could forgive sin. Jesus saw his spiritual need is greater than his physical need. Jews consider sin and poverty are the result of sin. Jesus said “Sickness is not necessarily because of sin but for the power of God to be seen in him” (John 9:3). Jesus came to provides forgiveness of sin and its destructive influences (Rev 21:4). Jesus has shown that it is easier to heal a sick man than to forgive his sin. The healed paralytic experienced the fore-taste of the future blessing of the kingdom of God. The restoration of all things will happen when Christ will return. In the calling of the tax collector Matthew, we see the gracious nature of Jesus Christ and the gospel (Matt 9:9). He got up and followed Jesus. Tax collection was a dirty job in Jesus’ time and involved in squeezing money from poor people for Rome (Luke 18:11). Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples for a dinner where his fellow tax collectors and many sinners were there. A born-again believer must witness Christ. The Pharisees accused Jesus for eating with sinners. Jesus replied “Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners, desire mercy and not sacrifice” (9:12). God is merciful to sinner who turns away from sin and embraces the salvation that is freely offered by Jesus. Have you received the forgiveness of sin graciously offer by Christ?
The compassionate Healer
(Read Matt 9:14-26)
Jesus healed many sick people and performed many miracles. The religious leaders opposed the work of Jesus and questioned him about fasting. The disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus “When we and the Pharisees fast, why your disciples do not fast?” Jesus replied “Should the wedding guest mourn while celebrating with the groom"? Jesus Christ has come to bring the dispensation of grace. The new wine should be stored in the new bottle to be preserved otherwise the skins burst (Matt 9:17). Also, Matthew gives the account of the raising of the ruler’s daughter and the healing of the woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years. Jesus said to mourners "The girl is not dead but sleeping". The crowd laughed at him (Matt 9:24). Jesus raised the girl. Wherever Jesus went, he gave life to dead, healed the sick and drove out demonic power. The dead in Christ are sleeping now and waiting for their resurrection. The ruler recognized Jesus’ deity and worshiped him. Only Jesus gives life to the dead. The healing of the woman who had a hemorrhage is an outstanding illustration of faith in action. She believed that “If I touch the garment of Jesus, I will be healed”. Faith is not a wishful thinking or something opposite of facts. Christian faith is based on the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection. Faith brings observable transformation in those who believe in Jesus. What matters is not the mount of faith we have but in whom we trust. Ask Christ to give the strength to battle against sin and temptations.
The compassionate Savior
(Read Matt 9:27-38)
Despite the miracles Jesus did the religious leaders opposed him. Two blind men followed Jesus crying out “Son of David, have mercy on us” (9:27). Jesus asked them “Do you believe that I am able to give you sight?” When they said “Yes Lord”, he touched their eyes and they received sight. Jesus told them that they should not tell anyone about this. But they spread his fame all over the region. Jesus also healed a mute who could not speak because he was possessed by a demon. Jesus cast out the demon and immediately he spoke. The crowd marveled saying, “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel". But the Pharisees said “Jesus casts out demons by the prince of demons” (Matt 9:34). Pharisees remind us that a person can live a religious life yet he can resist Jesus and remain unsaved. Only Jesus can set us free from the sin and its destructive influences. Jesus traveled through cities, teaching in the synagogues and preaching the good news. When he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion. They were spiritually weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd to guide them. Jesus did not want to see them spiritually unprotected and lost. He said to his disciples “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest (Matt 9:38). This is one of the missionary passages of the New Testament (Luke 10:2; John 4:35-38). Showing compassion to others is not done in our own strength but only when we experience Christ’s Compassion in our own lives. Do you obey the call to share the gospel with others?