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Summary: There is ALWAYS someone who needs the Lord. Before Jesus heals the paralytic, He forgives the man of his sins. Jesus has authority to forgive sinful mankind of sin.

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There’s Always a Need

(Matthew 9:1-8)

BACKGROUND – Jesus just returned from an area near Capernaum; a city where it is commonly believed that Jesus resided. Archeology suggests that Peter resided in Capernaum as well. We learn in the final verses of Matthew 8 that Jesus performed another miracle…this time Jesus delivered 2 men who were demon-possessed in an area known as the Gadarenes. The demons begged Jesus to not yet be cast into eternal damnation. They asked to be allowed to possess this herd of pigs nearby. Well, these pigs were owned by some prominent farmers in that area. When they witnessed this miracle, they ran into their town, and told the people and probably the city’s leaders. They were ‘concerned.’ It could be said they were upset. They came to Jesus and His disciples and insisted they leave. So, Jesus gets into a boat, and crosses over to Capernaum…

There are a few things we can learn AND apply to our lives from this passage of Scripture…

I. His friends were touched by his need.

(Matt. 9:1-2) – “…He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. [2] Then, behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.”

There was no way this paralyzed man could bring himself unto the Lord. In fact, for him to get around anywhere, this paralyzed man probably relied upon family and friends for all of his care. Yet, there is something different about the intent of these friends of the paralyzed man. Knowing that Jesus is God; and, being God, He accurately read the true intents of the paralyzed man’s friends.

You see, these friends brought their paralyzed friend to the Lord Jesus to be, in fact, healed of his paralysis. Meeting the physical needs of our fellow men, women, and children are noble and – quite often – Godly tasks. Yet, acts of kindness are not the ‘end all’ to why we bring people to the Lord…or, the Lord to people! It is not the sole-purpose of why we exist. Meeting the physical needs of those in need must be within the heart and ethos of the Church. However, Jesus reveals something deeper…something additional…something primary about the heart of these men and what they truly sought.

(Matt. 9:2) – “…Jesus saw their faith…”

So, was the intent of these men bringing their crippled friend to simply have him healed from his physical malady? Or, was their request of the Lord based upon a conclusion that they already came to; that this Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Son of God…truly God incarnate (God en-fleshed)…truly the only One who could meet the first and foremost problem of their paralyzed friend? He – FIRST – needed to be forgiven of his sins!

II. Jesus was touched by the paralytic’s friend’s true intention.

(Matt. 9:2) – “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic: ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.’”

I do not believe, for one moment, that Jesus was unconcerned of this man’s physical need. What I do believe is that Jesus wished to take that moment – once again – to show His disciples and the world the proper chronology of God’s doctrine, purpose, and will! I do believe the Lord Jesus is the ‘Great Physician;’ that He is able and willing to touch us with His healing hand…when it is His will.

(2 Cor. 12:7) – “…lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”

The Apostle Paul continued to plead with God to deliver him of his physical problem…

(2 Cor. 12:8-9) – “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. [9] And, He said to me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Paul understood and accepted – as God’s will for his life – that he would carry on with this physical infirmity. But, this does not mean that the Lord has withdrawn today from healing people! Continue to pray for the Lord to heal you…to touch you…to comfort you…to bring you His peace; just as the Apostle Paul prayed. But, be committed to the Lord’s will for your physical condition prior to coming to the Lord. This is an act of true, Biblical faith! This is what the Lord Jesus drew attention to in the true intentions of these friends of this crippled man. “…Jesus saw their faith…” This is why Jesus was touched and moved by the faith of these men – because they understood true, Biblical faith!

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