The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
"Why do you think evil in your hearts?"

Scripture:  Matthew 9:1-8

1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his 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, take 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.
Meditation: What cripples the mind and heart and stiffles the healing power of love?  Sin and unforgiveness for certain!  Sin cripples us more than any physical ailment can.  Sin is the work of the kingdom of darkness and it holds us in eternal bondage. There is only one solution and that is the healing, cleansing power of Jesus' forgiveness. Jesusí treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day.  When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable.  He first forgave the man his sins.  The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man or woman from their burden of guilt.  Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give.  Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God's redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well. The Lord is every ready to bring us healing of mind, body, and soul.  His grace brings us freedom from the power of sin and from bondage to harmful desires and addictions.  Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus' healing power?

"Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, soul, and mind. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life -- my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your truth and righteousness."


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager