And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:1-13
Last night, I had the opportunity to teach our student ministry here at White Oak. They are currently in series called “Sent Together.” In that series they are looking at what it means to be a servant of Christ and what means to be on mission for God. I had the task of unpacking the BIG IDEA of “Jesus sends us to bringing healing.” One of the main passages for the lesson was the passage quoted above. As I developed the lesson notes, one thing continued to come to my mind, and it was: “What was the purpose and mission of Jesus? What is the purpose and mission of the church (that is followers of Christ)?” Those questions are what I am going to unpack throughout the rest of this blog. The blog today is just an expanded form of my teaching notes.
What do you think about the following statements:
- The World is Broken and needs to be fixed.
- I know people who are broken and need to be fixed.
- I am broken and need fixing.
To answer those questions, we need to take a deeper dive into what I mean by broken. In the simplest of terms, broken means to have issues that need to be fixed. Some issues are easier to fix, while others are much more complicated. For example, if the broken issue you have is cheating on a test, then the fix is simply to study harder and to keep your eyes from wondering. A major part of the study and focus would be to pray and ask the Lord to help you understand and retain the information and then to keep your eyes on your own work. A much more complex issue may be sexual sin in your life. With that we need prayer, accountability partners, and deep study of God’s Word. The good news though is that Jesus came to bring us healing in all those broken areas!
So, let’s go back and think about those statements.
The reality is that we all those statements are true and that the only fix for the brokenness is Jesus. I want to take some time now and unpack 4 points from Matthew 9, that I believe are valuable to us today and will be valuable to us the rest of our life as we deal with the brokenness of our life and of the world.
JESUS CAME TO HEAL SPIRITUALLY
Look to our passage of scripture and see how Jesus goes straight for the deepest need of the paralytic man and of Matthew the Tax Collector. The biggest brokenness that everyone has is sin and Jesus is the only one who can bring healing to that brokenness. It is amazing how the Lord immediately gets to the true issue of brokenness, and it is sin. Now this man sin did not cause his medical issue but sin from the fall did. Even though the man’s physical problem was not caused by his own sin, he did have sin in his life. You may ask, how do I know that the simple answer is a human born from a human father. Jesus though on the hand is fully human but does not have an earthly father, He was conceived from the Heavenly Father.
Jesus main mission from the Father was the work of redemption. We see that as Jesus teaches throughout his earthly ministry. It is at the core of the healing here and many other places. Jesus work on the cross and resurrection was to bring about healing to the spiritual brokenness of man.
JESUS CAME TO HEAL PHYSICALLY
Jesus showed that he was able and willing to heal physical needs, even those needs that seem to be un-healable. Repeatedly in the New Testament we see Jesus’ healing people who had un-healable diseases and issues. Jesus has the power to heal!
As the followers of Christ, we now called to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we serve people who have physical issues. Do I believe that God can still heal the same way he did with paralytic man in our text of scripture? The answer is a resounding YES, but often, He calls His people to be servants of those in need. We become mobility, hands, and much more for those who are physically broken.
JESUS CAME TO HEAL EMOTIONALLY
We don’t know all the details of this man’s story, but we can make some educated guesses. In that time, we know people who were ill or injured were often excluded from society and even families. They were called sinners because of their ailments and because of their sin they were being punished by God (This was not true, but it was their thoughts). So, when Jesus healed the man, he was giving him a chance at a new life, restored relationships, and hope for his future.
As followers of Christ, we are to be heart and compassion of Jesus to those who are emotionally broken. When people feel abandoned and worthless, we are to be there for them and with them. To remind them of the love of God and the love we have for them. Our compassion and love will be physical and emotional help when people feel abandoned and alone.
JESUS CAME TO HEAL EVERYTHING
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, their sin broke the world. Everything that was created without sin, was not tainted by sin. So, when Jesus came to die on the cross, that work of Jesus brought about possibility of healing to everything.
It is now the responsibility of the church to take the gospel to the world, starting with our home and community. The final and complete solution to our brokenness is the gospel of Christ. It is the message of hope to the hopeless, the message of protection to the fearful, and the message of redemption to the lost. Jesus came to bring ultimate healing.
Jesus’s mission and purpose has now been transitioned to the church and followers of Christ. In the last words of Matthew, Jesus gives the great commission, which entails taking the gospel to the nations.
We function now as…
- The voice of spiritual healing as we share the gospel with others.
- The hands and feet of Jesus as we help those in physical need. We can serve them and help them function better in life.
- The heart of Jesus by being a listening board to those who are emotionally hurt and by offering our care and compassion to them.
- Help the world by going on mission.