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Matthew 9:2

Posted 09/14/21, by Dan Vis

A huge part of the ministry of Jesus revolved around healing--but in many ways those miracles were object lessons designed to reveal His true work. To draw attention to the spiritual healing He wanted to bring to the human race.

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...

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Posted by Dan Vis on 09/14/21
I like that Kathryn: that Christ is sometimes "busy taking out the wrinkles".

Yes Laurie, I don't think we really realize how many sin-sick souls there are all round us, burdened down with a load of guilt and remorse. We who have found freedom can spread the good news that Jesus offers rest from all of that...
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 09/14/21
That's what I want to be. An agent of hope and courage.
Posted by Kathryn D. Search on 09/14/21
No doubt about Christ forgiving when we are repentant. The physical healing may or may not take place at the same time. When we are dealing with souls we need to know how to explain that. Healing may come gradually, or later, and it may not come until the resurrection, whenever best. Sometimes we might tell them that Christ is busy taking out the wrinkles in our characters, so He may apply a "thorn to our flesh" like He did Paul. But whatever our Savior does, it is always for our good. Then we will have eternity to enjoy without any kind of suffering.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/14/21
That's a beautiful prayer Valerie. I think that's a huge part of what it means to be a Revival Agent--to be a constant source of hope, faith, and courage. Pointing people always to the power for victory and success that's found in Jesus. Let's do that!

You are very welcome Terri! It is easy to get discouraged about various things, and will continue to be so as long as we live in a world of sin. But praise God He can turn our words to words of praise. Let's keep seeking Him!
Posted by Terri Krovoza on 09/14/21
I also pray that I will be an agent of hope and cheer. I know it's easy for me to get down on myself mostly for my care or lack of care for my body but I pray God gives me the deliverance from guilt and only words of praise come from my mouth. Thank you, Dan, for these encouraging blogs.
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!

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