Matthew 9:2Posted 09/14/21, by Dan Vis
One incident along these lines stands out in particular. It is the story of the man "sick of the palsy" carried to Jesus on a stretcher by some friends. In Mark and Luke's version, they had to break up the roof to lower him down in front of Jesus. But Matthew gives the best account of the first words Jesus spoke to the cripple:
Matthew 9:2And, 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.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
I'm sure you recall the story. The scribes began grumbling among themselves at those words: "who can forgive sins but God only" (Mark 2:7Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?). So Jesus proceeds to heal the man, as proof "the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6But 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.). And the crowd goes wild.
But here's what stands out to me in this story. The real need of the man was the forgiveness of sin. That was the true healing, the true cleansing, Jesus came to offer this world. And just as surely as that man was able to take up his bed and walk home, just so surely Jesus lifted that man's sins off his shoulders. He was indeed, in verity, forgiven.
I also note that this forgiveness is connected with "good cheer". Or to consider the converse, how many around us are weighed down with a burden of guilt and shame? How many are discouraged and disheartened because of the overpowering mastery of some sin in their life? How many wrestle, day after day, with impotency and failure--and it crushes them? Just like that palsied man who had long since given up on ever walking.
How often do we as believers add to those burdens by speaking words that bring even more guilt and shame?
To align our ministry more fully with that of Jesus, we should seek to bring "good cheer" to the people around us. To offer a message of full and free forgiveness of sin. Of healing and deliverance from the burden of guilt and shame that so weighs us down.
We should be agents of hope. Agents of courage. Agents of deliverance. Agents of cheer. In fact, this may well be our most important work...
|Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 09/14/21|
|I pray that I am an agent of hope and cheer to my clients, family and friends. I can’t keep this good news to myself!|
Join the Discussion!Want to read more articles, or leave a comment of your own? Please login. Not yet a member? Why not join our community...