Matthew 9:1-8 Jesus’ Authority To Forgive And Heal

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. The Paralytic

A. Physically

1. Paralysis is a sudden loss of tone & vital power in a certain part of the body.
2. This may affect a limb, the whole side, the tongue, or the whole body.
3. Generally incurable, unless in its slighter stages, or by Divine intervention.

B. Every Day Living

1. Unable to walk, sit, stand. Maybe unable to roll over.
2. Extremely dependent upon others for daily necessities.
3. Unable to fully enjoy family, marriage, a career.

C. Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually

1. Undoubtedly, seasons of depression, frustration, envy & jealousy towards others.
2. Shame/embarrassment in needing help for everything.
3. If paralysis was a result of a foolish action, he must have been angry w/himself

a. Taking a dare, overdoing it in sports, straining at work
b. May have been drunkenness that resulted in a fall

4. Jewish thought said that infirmities were a result of sin

a. It could have been, such as a drunken rage.
b. Certain forms of syphilis (Neurosyphilis) can cause paralysis

i. Neurosyphilis can affect the spinal column and the brain
ii. In tabes dorsalis: progressive degeneration of the spinal cord occurs
iii. Today’s treatments were not available during Jesus’ days
iv. Perhaps (in his mind) God was punishing him & didn’t love him

5. Paralysis is much like sin- crippling, embarrassing, makes one powerless
6. Yet this man had hope that Jesus could heal him.

a. The power to heal was an O.T. description of the coming Messiah
b. Isaiah 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a dear, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

II. The Friends

A. They Had Faith In Jesus’ Ability To Heal

1. They (4) carried their friend to Jesus. They would not be dissuaded. Determined!
2. They could not get to Jesus b/c of the crowd in Peter’s house. (Mark 2, Luke 5)
3. Broke through the roof; lowered their friend to Jesus; would pay for new roof
4. They weren’t hindered by the scribes & Pharisees who were skeptical & critical

B. Their Expectation & Hope

1. They sought physical healing for their friend.
2. They probably didn’t think about the man needing forgiveness
3. Were they disappointed when Jesus forgave the man w/o healing him?
4. Like them, we sometimes do not realize people’s greatest need.

III. The Pharisees & Scribes

A. Their Attitudes Towards Jesus

1. They are often found in the gospels trying to find fault with Jesus
2. They often tried to trick Jesus into saying something wrong
3. They came many miles from all over Israel to investigate Jesus. (Luke 5:17)

a. Unbelievers, skeptics, critics are always finding reasons to criticize
b. They traveled many miles to find something wrong, not something right

4. What they thought about Jesus was evil. (Verse 4)

B. Their Wrong Thinking About The Situation

1. They presumed that Jesus blasphemed when He forgave the man of his sins

a. They were correct in that only God can forgive sins.
b. They were blind to the fact that God in the flesh stood before them.

2. They generally looked down upon the common people.

a. “Pharisee” means “separated ones”.
b. They thought themselves superior.

3. They probably disdained the sick man, thinking his illness was his fault.
4. They believed a diseased person could not be healed till all his sins were forgiven

IV. Jesus

A. How He Viewed The Scribes & Pharisees-He Knew Their Thoughts

1. Full of the H. S., Jesus experienced gifts of knowledge & discernment.

B. How He Viewed These Men

1. He saw their manifestation of faith was quite unusual; even “inappropriate”.
2. Jesus didn’t see the “strange behavior”, he saw their faith.
3. May we recognize true faith, even if it looks “unusual or inappropriate.”

C. How He Viewed The Paralytic

1. Jesus saw the paralytic’s faith
2. He knew what was in his mind as well
3. Jesus knew how this man viewed this disability

a. Undoubtedly, the man connected his infirmity with sin
b. Maybe a definite sin, maybe an unknown sin, but definitely sin
c. Jesus spoke to what the man needed- relief and forgiveness of sins
d. Called him son- Offspring, child. Had the man felt estranged from God?
e. Jesus not intimidated about forgiving & healing a “sinful, guilty man”.
f. No sin we have committed will keep us from forgiveness through faith

4. Jesus also ministered to the greater need, which was forgiveness

a. Jesus knew the man’s greatest need was forgiveness, secondarily, healing.
b. Jesus wasn’t misdiagnosing the man’s condition.
c. Healings are not eternal; forgiveness is eternal
d. 1 John 1:9

D. Jesus Proved His Authority To Forgive Sins & Power To Heal

1. “Which is easier to say…?” Obviously, “talk” can’t be verified, healing can.
2. Consider the physical healing of this man:

a. Nerves, muscles, ligaments strengthened; misaligned vertebrae corrected
b. Balance, equilibrium restored; coordination was instantaneous.
c. He not only stood up, but carried his stretcher and walked home

3. Jesus has power & authority to forgive sins- a person’s greatest need