Extended reading: Matthew 8:28-34 Jesus healing two demon-possessed men
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
We feel in these verses the gathering storm, the growing opposition to Jesus’ ministry. The teachers of the law (the scribes) accuse Jesus of blaspheming. By saying, “Your sins are forgiven,” Jesus is doing what only God can do. Jesus sees the truth of this unselfish deed done by the friends of the paralyzed man. Their faith has led them to Jesus. These verses exemplify for us that we cannot make a person a Christian, but we can do all in our power to bring a friend into Christ’s presence.
Lord and Father of us all , let us be a friend to all those we encounter. Help us show the world around us your love through our actions and deeds. Make us selfless servants to your message. In His name we pray, Amen.