- Sermon Notes
Before the One Who Knows
Intro: Fix a flat.
In Matthew chapter 9:1-8, we see four men carry their friend, who is paralyzed, to Jesus. From Matthew 4:23 we understand that Jesus was going throughout the region proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, teaching, preaching, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people. No doubt many throughout the region had heard about this man who could bring about healing. These four men carried their friend who was paralyzed on a bed and stopped at nothing to get him before Jesus. In getting their friend before Jesus, they placed him in front of the One who not only could bring about healing and transformation to his situation, but also the One who knew exactly what this man needed in his life.
Read: Matthew 9:1-8
Throughout Matthew chapter 8 and 9 we see ten miracles performed by Jesus. These miracles establish a narrative that is so important for those in Jesus’ day who were facing any affliction or difficulty, as well as for us today; Jesus is the One to turn to.
Like many who came to Jesus for healing, the man who was paralyzed suffered social stigma and judgement in that day. Those declarations likely overwhelmed his thought life, leaving him not only immobilized physically, but spiritually as well. Though there were words spoken over his life, Jesus would speak a different word.
Jesus knew the best way to restore this man. And in your life and mine, Jesus knows the way toward restoration. What is essential is that we stop at nothing in pursuit of getting before the One who knows what we need.
I. Find a Way to Jesus
Matthew 9:2, And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”
- From the accounts of this story in Luke 5 and Mark 2, we understand several details surrounding the way in which this man in need is brought before Jesus.
- Jesus is teaching in a crowded room. The room was so full that there wasn’t even an opportunity to get near the door and see into it.
- It’s a packed house!
- The crowded room was full of the religious elite, the Pharisees, scribes and teachers of the law, as well as, many followers of Jesus.
- In that day and in that time, most Jews held a false belief that all disease and affliction was the direct result of someone’s sin.
- Like his fellow Jews, no doubt the man suffering paralysis believed that it was a punishment for either his own sin, or that of his parents or grandparents.
- Regardless of a heightened social stigma, this man and his friends, understood the importance
- of finding a way to Jesus, no matter what the cost.
- With no way through the door, the four men decided to carry their friend up onto the roof of the house and begin digging a hole in the middle of it, so that they could lower the man who was paralyzed into the room and directly in front of Jesus.
- In Jesus’ day, roofs were constructed with mud mixed with straw, packed between beams. In some cases, beneath the packed mud was stone. This particular roof likely had stone since in Luke 5:19, we understand that the man was lowered through roof tiles.
- I imagine those in the room began to hear some commotion on the roof, then some digging, dust and roofing materials likely falling into the room, and eventually, they see four men pulling back roof tiles, and ultimately, the descent of their friend into the room.
- Surely, many declarations had been made over this man’s life, his situation, his affliction. Surely there were many voices that ran through his head, but now, before Jesus, none of that mattered.
- It did not matter what his friends would say, or the words of any who might judge him, he had found his way to Jesus.
- Jesus had seen their faith, and all that mattered in that moment, was what Jesus had to say.
Illus. I’ll work with you.
- And for us, when we find our way to the One, the decision maker, it does not matter what has been said, or what any other might think. What matters in that moment is what Jesus has to say.
A. Take Courage
Matthew 9:2, Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.
- Jesus addressed the man first. He spoke words of comfort and encouragement.
- He first tells the man to take courage.
- In making this statement, Jesus is telling the man who has just placed himself at His mercy, “don’t be afraid, because you no longer have anything to be afraid of.”
- Jesus then does what only He can do by reassuring the man, that His sins are forgiven.
- That statement would evoke a different response from everyone in the room.
- The four men who had brought him to Jesus, were likely expecting him to be healed physically once he was before Jesus.
- It is likely based upon Jesus’ physical healing of many others that they were expecting to see his physical healing, I wonder if they were disappointed when it didn’t happen immediately.
- The theology of the paralytic was likely challenged in that moment. Due to Jewish culture, He had grown up believing that his paralysis was the result of sin. Jesus just told him his sins were forgiven, yet, he was still paralyzed.
- Certainly, that is not Jesus’ conclusion regarding affliction, nor do I think it should be ours.
John 9:1-5, As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
- The disciples asked the question many ask of all suffering… “Why?”
- They then gave Jesus two possible answers as to why this would be the case based upon their cultural understanding. Either the blind man sinned, or his parents had sinned…Both interpretations were incorrect.
- Jesus responded to the disciples, “It’s neither, it’s not what you think.” (John 9:2)
- Though true, that affliction, pain, and difficulty of all sorts are the result of the presence of sin in the world, those difficulties are not necessarily the result of some specific sin of the person who is suffering.
Revelation 21:4, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.”
- Jesus’ foremost concern in our lives is the forgiveness of sin.
- The others in the room at hearing Jesus declare that the sins of paralytic were forgiven said in their hearts:
Luke 5:21, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
- The scribes correctly understood that by forgiving sins, Jesus had just done something that only God could do. But they were incorrect in assuming that Jesus was not God Himself.
John 1:1-2; 14, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
Matthew 1:23, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which means, God with us.
- When you get before Jesus and He speaks into your situation, there may be thoughts others carry toward His work in you. Whether it is enough, whether or not He has the “authority” to change someone like you, and whether or not His forgiveness in your life was real.
John 8:36, If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Illus. 11 MPH.
Psalm 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
- In proclaiming the reason for God sending His son, John wrote it this way:
John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- If you have come before Jesus, take courage and know that the moment you call upon Him, He has the power and authority to set you free.
B. Let His grace be seen in your life
Matthew 9:4-5, And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?
- While the scribes had no choice but to accept His power when He healed those who came to Him physically, they jumped on the opportunity to question His power to forgive sins, which they could not see with their eyes.
Matthew 9:5-8, But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God.
- At Jesus’ word, the man was healed spiritually, then, He was healed physically.
- As a result, the man who had been carried there and lowered down before Jesus, would stand and walk.
- The man was instantly healed at Jesus’ word. Upon seeing the mercy and power of Jesus to heal and forgive, the people were amazed and glorified God.
Mark 2:12, And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
- May that be true in our lives as well that after coming before Jesus and receiving His restoration. May His grace be seen in our lives so that many would glorify the giver.