Saturday, June 01, 2024

2024.06.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 9:1–8

Read Matthew 9:1–8

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Jesus do in Matthew 9:1? To where does He come? Whom do they bring to Him (Matthew 9:2)? What did Jesus see? To whom does He speak? What does He initially command him to do? Upon what grounds? Who are there? Where do they speak (Matthew 9:3)? What do they say? What does Jesus know (Matthew 9:4)? What does He ask about themselves? What does He ask more generally (Matthew 9:5)? What does He say is going to be the reason for the next statement (Matthew 9:6)? What does He now command the paralytic to do? What does the paralytic do in Matthew 9:7? Who saw it (Matthew 9:8)? What do they do? Whom do they glorify? Thinking that God had done what?

What deliverance did Jesus come to give us? Matthew 9:1–8 prepares us for the morning sermon on the Lord’s Day. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Jesus came to give us the deliverance of the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus sees our faithMatthew 9:1-2. Unlike Mark and Luke, Matthew doesn’t tell us about the effort required to get the man to Jesus. He simply tells us that Jesus saw their faith. It is interesting that Jesus tells the paralytic to take courage from having his sins forgiven. Surely he can see that the man is paralyzed! But Jesus sees better than we see. We think that we need to be delivered from various burdens in this life. We might especially think so, if we were paralyzed. But Jesus sees something that we need more: forgiveness of our sins. Dear Christian, does not the Lord Jesus command us to take courage because our sins are forgiven through faith in Him. Take courage!

Jesus sees our wicked thoughtsMatthew 9:3-4. Jesus knew their thoughts. Mark tells us that He perceived their thoughts in His Spirit. How seriously we ought to take our thought life! This is one place that we are especially before our Lord Jesus. No other man can enter then. It is a secret room, where only we and the Lord Jesus are. When we question Him in our hearts, He is the Witness to our evil thoughts. How glad we ought to be that He has authority to forgive—that He Himself has purchased that forgiveness by His own cross, in the same compassion with which He looked upon the paralytic sinner.

Jesus wants us to know His authority to forgiveMatthew 9:5-8. The reader should already have concluded that Jesus is God, Who has authority to forgive. And this passage surely confirms that. But, we see something more in Matthew 9:6. We see that Jesus wants us to know that He has this authority. He even wanted these scribes to know. How great is the saving compassion of our Lord!

Ultimately, it is much more difficult to say “Your sins are forgiven you.” It is less immediately falsifiable. But for our Savior, Who can say both, the forgiveness comes at the cost of going to the cross for us. But He did go to that cross. He did suffer the wrath of God in our place. He was displayed as a propitiation. And He does forgive sin as both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Him. 

Even without drawing the full conclusion, that Jesus Himself is God in the flesh, the multitude glorified God. Is it possible that the forgiveness of sins has grown so commonplace with us that we no longer marvel or glorify God for it? May it never be!

What are you tempted to think of as your greatest need from the Lord Jesus? But what is it actually? For what situations do you need to take courage? How does the forgiveness of your sins give you that courage? What are some opportunities in your life especially to remember the forgiveness of your sins, and to marvel and glorify God for it? What use have you been making of those opportunities?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we are so thankful to You for giving Your Son to become a Man Who can forgive sins. Thank You for His love in which He both secured that forgiveness and desires us to know, and take courage from, that forgiveness. Grant that we would marvel and glorify You for this always, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP51A “God, Be Merciful to Me” or TPH130A “LORD, from the Depths to You I Cry!” 

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