Jesus, our faith and forgiveness (Matthew 9:1-8)

Published on Thursday, 28 December 2017 05:09
The moment came when the paralysed man and his friends reached Jesus. As they arrived, Matthew tells us that Jesus saw their faith. Did he mean by this statement that he had looked inside their hearts and saw what was living there? Or did he mean that Jesus looked at what they had done because their actions were the evidences of their faith? I would incline to the latter possibility.
So far, the focus has been on the actions of the men carrying their friend. Nothing has been said about the man himself except that he was paralysed. But Jesus highlights something else about the man, which was that he was a sinner needing forgiveness. It is worth noting that his friends are not addressed in this way, which may indicate that they had already trusted in Jesus as the Messiah and had been forgiven their sins.
Again, it may have been the case that the man was bothered about his sins and wanted forgiveness above all else. I suspect he was, otherwise Jesus would have forgiven someone who did not ask for his pardon, and who was not interested in it. The fact is that the man’s soul was in greater need than his body. Jesus knew that was the case and immediately forgave the man all his sins. The amazing reality is that Jesus has the authority to forgive all our sins when we believe in him.
Jesus said more than that to the man because he also indicated to him that he now belonged to God’s family. It may be the case that the use of the word ‘son’ by Jesus indicates that the suffering man was a young person, but the word also points to a close relationship with Jesus. Jesus wanted the man to have assurance of this relationship of belonging to him as well as having the assurance of knowing his sins had been forgiven by Jesus. No doubt the man had great joy in his heart as he listened to the powerful words of Jesus.

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