Jun 30, 2024 | Gavin Carrier

Deeper Healing

Deeper Healing: A Journey Through Matthew 9:1-13

Introduction: The Surface vs. the Depth

Picture this: Mike Keville’s old house, with water leaking everywhere. I’m not handy, but in such situations, I try to sound helpful, often adopting an exaggerated accent and saying things I normally wouldn’t. It’s not just a leaky pipe; it’s a deeper issue.

Similarly, our lives often have visible problems, but Jesus teaches us to look beyond the surface to find the deeper issues that need healing.

Understanding Matthew’s Gospel

Matthew’s Gospel is structured into sections of teachings and actions. So far, Jesus has spoken extensively about God’s kingdom and true righteousness in the Sermon on the Mount. Now, we are in a section highlighting nine miracles of Jesus. These miracles reveal what Jesus’ ministry is truly about and clarify His priorities.

Today, we’ll look at two interconnected scenes in Matthew 9:1-13 that reveal Jesus’ mission and priorities.

Scene 1: Healing the Paralyzed Man

After healing two demon-possessed men on the Gentile side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus returns to Capernaum, His home base on the north side of the sea. As He arrives, some men bring a paralyzed man to Him, laying him on a mat. Jesus, seeing their faith, tells the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

The teachers of the law are outraged, accusing Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, challenges them: “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He then heals the man, who gets up and walks home.

Observations and Insights

Matthew focuses on Jesus’ words and His interaction with the teachers of the law, rather than the dramatic scene of the man being lowered through the roof, as other Gospels do.

  1. Faith Observed: Jesus sees the faith of the friends who brought the paralyzed man. The man himself had no ability to come to Jesus, indicating the importance of communal faith.
  2. Forgiveness First: Jesus prioritizes forgiving the man’s sins over healing his paralysis, emphasizing the greater need for spiritual healing.

The teachers of the law accuse Jesus of blasphemy because, in Jewish thought, only God can forgive sins. Jesus’ claim to forgive sins is seen as brazenly arrogant and rebellious. By healing the man, Jesus demonstrates His divine authority to forgive sins, proving He is no fraud.

Deeper Healing

Jesus’ healing goes beyond physical ailments. He addresses the deeper issue of sin. Our immediate needs often dominate our focus, but Jesus sees and targets our ultimate need: the forgiveness of sins.

Sin is the root of all chaos, death, and disease in the world. Every funeral and hospital visit is a reflection of sin’s activity. Sin infects every aspect of our lives, leading to epic falls preceded by small compromises. Unaddressed sin, like cancer, grows and eventually destroys.

Personal Story: The Ripple Effect of Sin

Reflecting on my own life, I see how my father’s sins impacted my mother, creating a chip on my shoulder. This led to anger, defensiveness, and a critical attitude. Sin convinced me that my actions were justified, causing harm to my relationships and distorting my self-perception.

Jesus’ mission is to deal with sin. Matthew 1:21 says, “He will save his people from their sins.” Jesus’ mission is more intense than just fixing surface issues; it’s about transforming our lives completely.

Scene 2: Calling of Matthew

As Jesus continues His journey, He sees Matthew, a tax collector, and calls him to follow. Matthew immediately leaves his old life and follows Jesus. Later, while dining at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners join them. The Pharisees question why Jesus associates with such people. Jesus responds, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Transformation Through Association

Matthew includes the quote from Hosea 6:6 to highlight that the teachers of the law, focused on ritual obedience, missed the heart of God’s mission: to forgive and heal sinners. Jesus isn’t about guilt by association; He knows that transformation happens through relationship.

Matthew’s account shows his humility and recognition of his need for Jesus. In our own recovery journeys, we often reach a point where we realize our deep need for Jesus, leading to true transformation.

Embracing Dependency on Jesus

Our ability to embrace dependency on Jesus is tied to our sense of needing Him. Understanding the weight of sin in our lives leads to an immediate and wholehearted response to Jesus’ call. The tragedy lies in those who feel self-sufficient and don’t recognize their need for Jesus.

Conclusion: The Call for Deeper Healing

Jesus’ mission is to forgive and heal the effects of sin in our lives. This requires more than just attending church or being a good person; it calls for a total transformation. Jesus wants to address the deeper issues under the surface.

Are you ready to embrace this deeper healing? Jesus sees through the surface issues and targets our ultimate need for forgiveness and restoration. Will you respond to His call today and allow Him to transform your life completely?

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Series Information

Join us as we embark on a transformative journey through the Gospel of Matthew, exploring the profound teachings and events that define this pivotal book of the New Testament. This series will delve into the core messages of Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount to His parables, miracles, and the ultimate sacrifice of His life.

Throughout this series, we will uncover themes of faith, righteousness, humility, and divine authority, as well as the cost of discipleship and the call to immediate and wholehearted commitment. Each week, we will explore different aspects of Jesus' ministry, including healing, prayer, true righteousness, and the challenges of living out His teachings.

We will examine the principles Jesus laid out for living a life aligned with God's will, from understanding true blessedness and the nature of God's kingdom to embracing radical love, mercy, and the immediate call to follow Him. This series aims to deepen our faith and challenge us to live out the values of Jesus' teachings in our daily lives.

Join us for the "Matthew" series and discover how the teachings and life of Jesus can transform your heart and mind, guiding you to a more meaningful and fulfilling walk with Christ.