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

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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.


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