in Matthew 9 we find the narrative about Jesus healing a paralyzed man.
From the start, it’s all about the people’s faith. They bring the man to Jesus, who, recognizing their faith, tells the paralytic, “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.” Will we be daring and bring others to Jesus today?
As the narrative continues, he is aware of the failure of the hard hearted to make a positive connection between forgiveness and healing. They say he is blaspheming by claiming to forgive.
Jesus starts with forgiveness, healing the heart before they see the physical healing. “Which is easier, he asks them, “to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘Stand up and walk’?”
He forgives and heals. If we take Jesus seriously, we understand that there is an undeniable connection between forgiveness and healing. The hardened heart will not, does not; but should it turn towards forgiveness, it is softened and healing streams flow.
I am struck by verse 8” When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.”
We have the God given authority to forgive those who have wronged us, an to set them free to get up and go to God.
O Loving Lord, give us the grace to live out the connection between forgiveness and healing. May we be forgives and healers for your sake. Amen.
See below my poetic reflection on Matthew. 9: 2-8
Take heart, you’re clean
From sin within.
Thinking evil of him
He cannot forgive sin.
To get up
To stand up
Easier to forgive
Or to heal?
To forgive is
God given authority
Power to heal