9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
I am often disturbed by how light we (including myself) take it when we hear someone has come to believe that Jesus died on a cross to take away their sins and give them eternal life in heaven. “Oh, that’s nice, congrats.” BUT the celebration we take when one of our kids makes a touchdown or scores a goal.
Just something to think about.
Forgiving his sins was the big miracle-not the external healing. However, for the onlookers to understand that Jesus ‘could’ change the inside of a man, He followed by proving it with a superficial change. HOWEVER, only one person can forgive sins…The Lord. This is going to cause an issue and an uprising. (we might say who cares about the uprising BUT remember, the Jews were allowed to ‘self govern’ as long as they didn’t cause problems for Rome. Well…it’s starting)
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
They never said anything! But Jesus says: “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
I bet their jaws dropped!
Jesus eats at Matthew’s house.
I KNOW I say “this is my favorite” a lot. BUT this time, I mean it. Verse 13-17, by far, is my favorite scripture in the New Testament. I won’t get into the 100 reasons why, but just know that they are!!! One of the 100 has to do “Christians” walking out of one of my Bible studies after they saw a picture of me loving on some close friends of mine that happen to be in a same-sex marriage. I love them as much as Jesus loves them. Don’t assume someones’ doctrine…assume a mission field through LOVE.
Levi (renamed Matthew by Jesus “the gift of God”), as we know, is a tax collector. Before he was a tax collector, he was the son of a priest. We know he was taught the Scriptures well because when He wrote the Book of Matthew, he quotes the Old Testament. He gave up his family role of being a priest to be a criminal. $$$. Tax collectors were the bottom feeders who pre-paid poor people’s taxes and charged them high-interest rates. When Jesus said “Follow Me,”- this was atypical. Usually, Jews studied for years and had to “ask” to follow a Rabbi. Rabbi’s were picky-they wanted someone educated in the scriptures (not money laundering), and they had to have a current job so they could pay their own way.
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Think about that (talking to myself) the next time you complain about some of the people, music, service, etc., in your church service. I am often reminded of my second favorite story in the NT about the 99 sheep. Once when I was complaining (in my head) about something at church I heard in my heart- Luke 15:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
Basically, I heard: “This is not for you, Szymanski…feel free to leave.” Ouch, He was right!
Jesus was not coming to “fix” the Covenant. He was the Covenant. He wasn’t the patch or going to refresh the law.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
The Sabbath- Two main things set the Jews apart from the rest. Circumcision and the Sabbath. The Sabbath had become so steeped in “rules” that the purpose of it had become polluted. The Pharisees had created rules about the rules and added restrictions to those rules. The purpose was gone.
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
He backed that up with a story about David. (2 Samuel 21) At one point in David’s life, when he was on the run from Saul, he asked the priest Ahimelech for food. The priest gave David the bread of the Presence (from the Temple) since it was the only bread available. David was not a priest, so it was technically unlawful for him to eat the showbread. However, Jesus refers to this event, using it as proof that the Law was designed for man’s benefit and that Christ is Lord of the Sabbath.