The first 8 verses of Matthew 9 give us the clearest picture of Jesus’ mission, His deepest desire and His greatest expression of Love to us. One would argue that John 3:16 paints this picture the best but I would say that the verses of Matthew 9 give us a clearer picture because of the example given together with the subtle comparison; eternal condemnation and temporal physical affliction.
A group of friends bring their paralysed friend to the person whose fame had spread far and wide because of the power He carried to perform miracles. They brought him with expectation that their friend will be healed. Like similar examples, it was easy for Jesus to speak directly to their friends infirmity and set Him free, but Jesus, knowing why He Himself came, addressed that which was of higher priority; The mans sin.
Of course the teachers of the law were triggered, not because Jesus didn’t heal, but it was blasphemy for them that Jesus dared to tell a person that they were forgiven. Jesus didn’t give credence to their imbalanced knowledge and understanding of Gods desire because of their closed hearts, but He tells us so much through the little encounter and two needs of the paralysed man.
While the visible affliction was his paralysis, Jesus saw that the greater affliction was his being bound by sin.
It would’ve seemed like pure love to the crowd and particularly His friends if Jesus started with “take up your mat and walk”, but Jesus, knowing and seeing better, addressed the true area this man needed love, which was the forgiveness of his sins.
Affliction, particularly that of sickness is a horrible thing but Jesus tells us what is more horrible and this should communicate to us that the best way Jesus could love us, has already been done. He forgave our sins.
This is not to invalidate the issues and problems of life that we face but this is to say that we must not wait till those go away before we recognise Abbas love, even in those situations. Satan takes joy seeing believers doubt Abbas love because of a temporary situation of this life and if you think about it, all situations of this life are temporal because this life itself is temporal.
We must remind ourselves that the best and greatest thing Jesus could do for us has been done already and so even while we hope for healing, deliverance, restoration and answers to our diverse prayers, we must remember that we can make those requests only because the first and most important request has been fulfilled. Our sins forgiven.
Issues of life could be like clouds on a rainy day sometimes. Blocking the sun from drying our environment and depriving our environment from the effect of the suns rays, but we must insist on moving the clouds to see the sun in all its glory and even when we can’t move the clouds, stay believing that the suns effect is not reduced because of the presence of clouds.
The greatest Lover has loved us in the greatest way. He forgave our sins and amidst all we still face in our lives today, this one thing is more than enough.