Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Matthew 9:2-8 (NRSV)
And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
Did you notice that the scribes are part of the crowd listening to Jesus? Matthew doesn’t say that they are bad people. They’ve heard about Jesus and have heard him teach. Maybe they want to hear more in hopes of gaining additional insight into the scripture. They are part of the faithful. In many ways, they are like us, spending time studying the Word.
And yet, these religious, theologically-informed, dedicated people—like us—get upset when a person in need wants to get to Jesus. They’re indignant when Jesus tells this person that his sins are forgiven, charging Jesus with blasphemy in speaking as if he were God.
Jesus quickly calls such thoughts evil and proceeds to heal the man. Upon seeing the man get up and walk, all there are awestruck and give glory to God.
A Savior who reaches beyond his inner circle to save? A Messiah who reaches beyond the boundaries of the saved to touch the lost? A teacher who calls his best students’ thoughts “evil” to help one in greater need? Awesome indeed!
Let us beware, present-day scribes, lest our Lord call our thoughts “evil”!
Lord Jesus, you’ve called us together as your body in this world. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for comforting us in our times of trouble. Thank you for our family of faith. In our gratitude and love of you, help us not to forget others whom you know as your beloved children, others whom you call to be part of your beloved family, others for whom you are seeking and searching. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, when we settle down with folks who are like ourselves, when we content ourselves with those in our community, when we stop calling, inviting, and welcoming strangers as our beloved sisters and brothers. Tear down the barriers that separate us from others; open us up and turn us inside out. For your sake and in your name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.