HYMN Psalm 23 The Lord’s My Shepherd (Stuart Townend)
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.
And I will trust in You alone,
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.
He guides my ways in righteousness,
And He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy,
I feast on His pure delights.
And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me, and Your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
SERMONParalysed By Sin
Last wee we looked at the healing power of the Kingdom of God – some folks were amazed by it (like the disciples) – others (like the Gadarene people) were terrified by Jesus power and they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Well, we read in verse ONE of the 9th chapter that Jesus complied with their wishes – He left them and came to His own town.
What is the situation ?
Thius man is paralysed – he cannot walk – but that is not what troubles this man most – he is far more troubled by the state of his soul – he knows himself to be a sinner and he can do nothing about his sins and his feeling of GUILT.
As this man lay powerless and helpless, news came to him that someone had returned to Capernaum – yes it was JESUS – and the man realised this was his opportunity to get right with God. At the same time, four of his friends also decided to help the sick man. All FIVE of them believed that Jesus could do something wonderful for the man on his back. So, they pick him up on his mattress and take him to the house in which Jesus is ministering. And what do they meet ? A huge crowd – in the house, around the house, in the courtyard. What were they to do ? Would they simply accept this as the will of God and go home ?
So many people give up on Jesus so quickly !
Those four friends were NOT put off
Well, the first thing He does is to put the man at his ease – He says to him Take heart son !
Then, without mentioning the paralysis, Jesus says : Your sins are forgiven ! In the mind of JESUS, and also in the mind of the poor man, the GREATEST NEED was for FORGIVENESS – the paralysis was only a secondary concern . Hard to believe, but true.
The teachers of the Law rightly assumed that only GOD could forgive sins.BUT they wrongly went on to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus doesn’t want to give the impression that ANYONE can forgive sins – He agrees with those religious men in that. So He says – LOOK – if only GOD can forgive sins, then ONLY GOD could raise this man up – so if I raise this man up WELL-HEALED, then you will have to make up your own conclusions about ME !
Micah 7:19 You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins & purify us from all unrighteousness.
Filled with awe, the crowd praised God. What else can we do when faced with the power and authority of Jesus?
HYMNHow deep the Father’s love for us
(this is not the link we use in the service – we are using Stuart’s own YouTube video for the service).
1 How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
2 Behold the Lamb upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
3 I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.