Matthew 9:1-8: Jesus, Our Loving, Forgiving God
Topic: Default Passage: Matthew 9:1–8
Matthew 9: 1-8: Jesus, Our Loving, Forgiving God
Mark will be preaching from Matthew 9:1-8. So, in preparation, I’ll be doing the Scripture reading myself today from that passage. It says,
1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 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.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
May God bless the reading of his Word.
Imagine you and a bunch of your friends are spending time together in someone’s living room, and suddenly you hear a loud thump on the roof. And then you hear some more noises from the roof and you all look up, and suddenly a little bit of plaster falls down, then a small hole appears in the ceiling. The hole keeps getting larger and larger, more and more plaster keeps falling and you can see hands ripping the hole in the ceiling. Then as the hole gets larger you see faces looking down through the hole. You would never forget that day…
“And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 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.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”
The same story is recorded in Mark 2 and Luke 5
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus performed this miracle early in his ministry after returning to his own city.
In Matthew 9:1-8, when it mentions "his own city," it is referring to Capernaum, which Mark mentions specifically in his gospel. Capernaum was a town located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and became a central location for many of Jesus' teachings and miracles during his ministry. It was considered "his own city" because he frequently stayed there and performed significant acts of healing and teaching in that area.
I love imagining this scene.
Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:4.
Everyone is inside, listening to Jesus teach, and suddenly there’s a noise up above.
Typically, “Roofs were constructed from beams covered with branches and a thick layer of mud plaster, …. roofs needed to be re-plastered annually prior to the rainy season to seal cracks which had developed during the summer heat.” — Ferral Jenkins (Ferrell Jenkins has been conducting tours to the Bible Lands since 1967.
For 25 years Ferrell taught in the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL.)
But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Luke 5:19
So Jesus probably paused and looked up to the ceiling. Everybody in the room was probably looking up toward the ceiling. Bits of plaster and branches were probably starting to fall down. Kept happening more and more until suddenly this huge hole appears in the roof, tons of sticks and plaster fall down on the floor. People are looking up with their mouths open then these men begin to lower their friend on a pallet. They may have just been bending over the hole and lowering him down by hand, and perhaps four guys jumped up and grabbed the pallet and lowered him the rest of the way to the floor.
Jesus is merciful, compassionate, and loving
The guy on the pallet might’ve been trembling with fear. Thinking the owner of the house might attack him. Or thinking Jesus might be angry for interrupting him.
But our passage says, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” But when Jesus saw “their faith“… He sees the faith of the man’s friends, the paralytic may have had faith too but he may have been struggling with fear or doubt… he had been a paralytic, probably for years and never gotten any better, so he may have not had a lot of faith. I picture his face… Fearful, doubtful, not knowing what’s going to happen.
Jesus said to the man “take heart, my son” This shows Jesus’ compassion.
Here, as elsewhere, pity is the starting-point of our Lord’s work of healing, and He looked with infinite tenderness on the dejected expression of the sufferer, who had lost heart and hope.—Ellicott
What a picture of Our God! He is merciful, compassionate and loving
Have you lost heart? Jesus cares for you, and has pity on you on your circumstances and looks upon you with infinite tenderness.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13.
Do you believe God is merciful and compassionate toward you? You believe he cares about you? He does he’s so gentle and kind and merciful. He loves you and longs for you to come to him.
Jesus saw their faith
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
Their faith - the faith of the men carrying the palette and the faith of the paralytic. They had so much faith in Jesus they were willing to do anything to get their friend to him. They believed that Jesus had the power to do miracles, to heal. They would’ve been willing to pay for the damage they did to the roof or to fix it themselves.
They had faith. Nothing was going to stop them. They were going to do whatever they had to do to get their friend to Jesus.
This is not the main point of the passage but what a great picture of FRIENDS. We too should bring our friends, our brothers and sisters, to Jesus in prayer.
God tells us not to lose faith in Him:
7 “Ask, (or, keep asking) and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11
Just as Jesus saw the faith of the friends who lowered the paralytic through the roof, so Jesus sees our faith in him. And Jesus will help us to have faith in him.
And when we feel we have little faith, Jesus will help us in our unbelief.
A man brought his son to Jesus, who was afflicted by a spirit that made him mute and caused him to have seizures.
And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:20-24
And Jesus immediately cast out the demon. he didn’t say will come back when you have more faith.
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Forgiveness of sins is far more important than physical healing
“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
When we come to Jesus, he says this to us… Take heart! Your sins are forgiven. Jesus forgives our sins! That’s more important than anything else Jesus could do for us. Our sins are forgiven because Jesus himself paid for those sins upon the cross. He took the punishment that we deserved and our sins are forgiven, and no punishment remains for us. Our sins are forgiven, and we are accepted and welcomed by God. Our sins are forgiven, and we have eternal life in Jesus.
Take courage son. - Berean study Bible.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. King James Bible.
When Jesus forgives our sins, bodily sickness or injuries can do us no real harm or lasting harm;
Noted in our passage today Jesus did not immediately say “be healed.” The first thing he said, was “your sins are forgiven.” One commentator I read said that in this Jesus was demonstrating that the primary reason He came into the world was to save his people from their sins
Take courage… seems to be the most consistent translation. When we stand before God on judgment day, we will be able to take courage because all our sins are forgiven. After fear, eternal punishment, and hell. We won’t have to fear God’s judgment, or suffering for our sins, because Jesus paid the price for all our sins. Knowing that our sins are forgiven, gives us courage to come to the Lord and hope in him.
We do not have to earn forgiveness of our sins. Jesus forgives us as a gift of his grace. Jesus did not say to the paralytic. I’ll forgive you if you do this certain good works. The paralytic couldn’t do anything. He could only receive forgiveness and healing as a gift from Jesus.
The paralytic is a picture of us when we are dead in our sins. We are paralyzed, spiritually. We cannot do a thing. We are dead in sin, and have no hope, unless we receive forgiveness as a gift from Jesus who is so willing to forgive us, if we will come to him.
It doesn’t matter what you have done. If you have committed the most horrible sin in the world, Jesus is willing to forgive you if you come to him in faith.
This passage shows us and proves to us that Jesus Christ is God.
First of all only God can forgive sins. That is why the scribes were thinking to themselves “this man is blaspheming.”
But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:6-7
The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Luke 5:21
The Pharisees and scribes recognize that essentially Jesus was claiming to be God.
Jesus proved he was God by healing the paralytic, and by healing him simply by speaking. Jesus gave us just a glimpse of the infinite power of God. Only God can heal by speaking a word. God has given us much medical knowledge and medicine. But no doctor could ever heal a paralyzed person simply by saying be healed. Only God could do that. And Jesus said:
"For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. Matthew 9:5-7
And what Jesus could have added, was, for which is easier for God, to say your sins are forgiven, or to say rise, and walk? God can do anything. Nothings too hard for God. There is no one too sick for God to heal. There is no one too lost forgot to save.
I wonder if any of the Scribes or people who witnessed this went home and thought about Psalm 103:1-5
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Jesus proved he was God because he knew their thoughts. Only God knows the thoughts of men. The scribes weren’t saying anything out loud. But Jesus, being God, knew what they were thinking.
And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:3-6
Jesus reveals himself to us
"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home.
Jesus wanted the religious leaders and everyone there to know that he was God. Because only God has the authority to forgive sins. Jesus was saying, I want you to know that I have the authority to forgive sins, therefore, I am God. Jesus was revealing himself to the religious leaders.
We would never know God, unless he had revealed himself to us.
Our God wants us to know him more and more, and as long as we live he keeps revealing more and more of Himself to us.
Jesus is merciful, compassionate, and loving.
Jesus gives us faith.
Jesus forgives our sins.
Jesus Christ is God.
Come to Him, call out to him.