Matthew 9:1-8 NIVUK
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralysed 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 paralysed 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.
Jesus isn’t interested in just putting sticky plasters on us to deal with our symptoms, like a good physician he wants to sort out the root cause of our suffering. Having built up his authority layer by layer in the last chapter, Matthew now completes it. Not only does he have authority over sickness, the weather and demons, he also has the authority to forgive our sins, our sinfulness being that which causes our suffering in the first place. What kind of man is this?!
Jesus, forgive us our sins and our sinfulness. Make us anew that we may love you and our neighbours properly.