THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Matthew 9:2-8): 2-3
They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!” 4–8 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both.…” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” And the man did it. The crowd was awestruck, amazed and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.
THOUGHTS: As with anything we try to make a decision on, we should be guided by the Word of God and see how important things were to God. I believe that we are a very compassionate people in general. However, let’s consider the needs that come before us. The needier someone, or something sounds, the more it/they receive our attention, our money and our apathy. What then do you think about the way Jesus reacted to the paraplegic here in this story? Firstly, I found it interesting how several Bible translations clearly say that Jesus, seeing the faith of those who took the man before Him….. Isn’t it odd that Jesus appealed to the outward expression of the group that took the man, yet He acted upon the need of the man they took? However, also note that Jesus observed a man being brought in on a stretcher, unable to walk, yet the first action from Jesus was to forgive the man of His sin. Friends, as I said in my opening comments, we are so easily swayed by the physical needs of people, and we very well should do that, however I believe that we need to gain more of the heart of Jesus, and be way more concerned about the ‘heart’ of the people brought before us with needs. What good will result if we help satisfy the physical needs of folk, yet before and after our help they are still headed straight to Hell? I believe that, like Jesus, we need to first become ‘heart’ specialists! We need to gain a priority for making sure that the heart of those that we come into contact with, is right with God. Have they met Jesus? Have they accepted Him as Lord? Do they practice their faith by openly serving Him in all aspects of their life? I believe that our biggest fear is that this might appear like we would then become judge and jury. Friends, I believe that most of us would not hesitate for a moment to run across the street and protect a blind person from an oncoming speeding auto – from sure death. Why then would we hesitate from saving a person blinded by the distractions (sins) of this world, knowing that they are headed to certain death without knowing the Savior of this world, Jesus Christ? I would dare say that if Jesus saw salvation as the most important thing in the paraplegic’s life, we too should follow suit and make this a priority in look at the needs of those who come before us.
PRAYER: It’s amazing how skewed our priorities have become Lord Jesus, yes even when it comes to the ultimate destination of our dearest friends and family. Please help us to be more like You in concentrating on the ‘heart’ first and the ultimate results a person will be left with after living life here on this earth with us. In our hearts we know that only what’s done for Jesus will last, and only what we’ve done with Jesus will matter when we stand before You in eternity. Please help us to be diligent in showing that we care about these qualities by the way we choose our priorities each day. We want to do this under Your direction and authority Lord Jesus, so please touch Your children today, beginning with me, and especially through those that will meditate on this devotional today. Please help us to show that we care more about the ‘heart’ than any other aspect of life here on this earth. I ask this in the strong and precious name of our first and most valuable ‘heart’ specialist, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!