Scripture: Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 13:10-17
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.
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Observation: I find it interesting when Jesus asks “which is easier”. First thought is that it is way easier to “say” your sins are forgiven, than to say you are healed. Because we are waiting for the instant results or proof. However, we know that actual act of forgiveness of sins is far more difficult and only God has that authority to do that. It’s all about the wait and faith. We are in a society that wants, no, demands instant results. We need fast internet, microwaves, and information at the tip of our fingers, so I think we desire to see miracles like healing, and need to see miracles and blessings on a regular basis to keep ourselves interested. We have a harder time staying focused for the long haul. The miracle of salvation and God’s incredible grace should be all we ever need to stay excited, but I feel we have become a product of our environment. Is this what God meant when he said to Paul “my grace is sufficient for you”? Do we chase after the miracles rather than the miracle maker?
Application: Am I working hard to see God’s miracles, or am I in prayer, seeking God, intervening on behalf of others so that God can move? What is my motive? Do I recognize Jesus as the one with the authority, or am I trying to get Him to do my will? Questions to ponder today.
Prayer: God, only you can forgive us. Only you have the authority to overcome our sin. We thank you for that. Today, I ask you search my heart and reveal where I may be trying to impose my own will on You. God, help my prayers to be in your will, and that I will accept your will is always correct. Thank you for this beautiful warm day, may we all recognize God’s blessings all around us today. In Jesus name, amen.