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Summary: If we surrender our hearts to him, Jesus has the power to make us completely whole.

A Messiah Who Restores

Text: Matt. 9:1-8

Introduction

1. Illustration: Some time ago, Time Magazine ran an article that reported on the benefits of religion and the church, and some of the observations included: 1. Heart-surgery patients who draw comfort from their religious faith have a significantly higher survival rate than those who do not. 2. The blood pressure of people who attend church is 5 mm lower than that of those who do not. 3. People with religious faith who attend church regularly experience less depression than nonreligious people. 4. Suicide is four times higher among non-churchgoers than churchgoers.

2. What’s the reason behind these statistics? It’s simple; Jesus wants to restore the whole person - spirit, soul and body!

3. There are three essentials that make this possible:

a. Faith

b. Forgiveness

c. Courage

4. Read Matt. 9:1-8

Proposition: If we surrender our hearts to him, Jesus has the power to make us completely whole.

Transition: The first step is...

I. Faith (1-2)

A. Seeing Their Faith

1. The most important aspect of receiving healing is faith, and Matthew illustrates this fact from the very

2. After ministering in the Gentile region of the Decapolis, Matthew tells us that "Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town."

a. The phrase "his own town" — undoubtedly refers to Capernaum, the home base of his ministry in Galilee (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 354).

b. The people of Capernaum accepted, or at least tolerated, him while the people of Nazareth tried to kill him.

c. Anyone who stayed in a town or village for more than a year could claim citizenship in the town and call it his own (Horton, 163).

d. At this time He probably took up temporary residence with Peter, in whose home He healed Peter’s mother-in-law.

e. The place is significant in that it illustrates the importance of faith in healing. It is obvious that the folks in Nazareth had no faith in him, and we are told that Jesus could do little there.

3. Matthew goes on to tell us, "Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”

a. Many “beds” were mats; thus the paralytics’ friends may have carried him on the bed on which he lay all the time (Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).

b. Because the paralytic had to be brought to Jesus lying on a bed, his paralysis obviously was severe, and he may well have been a quadriplegic.

c. No wheelchairs or other such equipment were available to those who could not walk, and they had to rely on others to carry them around.

d. Jesus has already cured paralysis (Matt. 4:24), so the men have probably heard of Jesus’ supernatural healing ability and now bring their companion to him for healing.

e. Jesus sees that they have faith in his ability to heal their companion, and they expect he will do so (Wilkins, 355).

4. The paralytic was not alone in his faith; his friends who brought him believed too.

a. Thus this account teaches us about intercession: we may pray for others, not merely for ourselves.

b. Faith is not simply working up a feeling or suppressing doubts, but demonstrated commitment to getting to the One on whose power we stake our trust.

c. It is even more than just believing; it is about acting on what we believe.

d. Their faith is demonstrated by the fact that they were willing to carry him to Jesus.

5. Jesus then responds to their faith by saying to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”

a. We need to see here that Jesus heals so much more than this man’s body.

b. Be encouraged: to have confidence and firmness of purpose in the face of danger or testing (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).

c. It represents the courage that eliminates fear. Jesus was saying, "Don’t be afraid, because you no longer have anything to be afraid of."

d. It was not that the man’s fears had not been real and well founded. An unrepentant sinner is separated from God and under divine judgment.

e. But when he repents in faith he no longer has reason to fear, because he is no longer under judgment (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).

f. Jesus encouraging words to him and his tender reference to him as his child show that Jesus authority was exercised with compassion (Turner, 134). One of the main reason the he performed miracles was because he cared about people.

B. Believe and Receive

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