From Matthew 9-10
What do you need most? What would you struggle most to give up? Jesus forgives and restores the relationship between God and man. Jesus commands those who would wish to follow him to give up their own lives for his sake.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Probably one of the more well know miracles Jesus performs is where he forgives the paralytic and his friends.
9 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. (Mt 9:1–8)
Why Jesus first forgave the man and then healed him is reasonably well known. Jesus healed the man to prove that he first had authority to forgive the men. He forgave the men because that is what they needed most. The forgiveness Jesus offers is more that what we expect. You see forgiveness was something all Jews knew about through the sacrificial system. But Jesus has superseded that and replaced the temple cultus under his own authority and we later find out with his own sacrifice. Something greater than the temple is here (Mt 12.6).
Later on Jesus says;
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Mt 10:34–39)
Its interesting to note Jesus’ repeated emphasis on who is worthy and who is not. Jesus expects everything from those who follow him. Jesus wants us to lose our lives for his sake. Many of Jesus’ first followers did. Some still do today.
Jesus forgives and restores the relationship between God and man. Jesus commands those who would wish to follow him to give up their own lives for his sake. Fair trade?
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