Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -- Hebrews 13: 8 (NIV)
A devotional I read this week led me to examine the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Within this chapter is a typical day in the life of Christ during His three year ministry on earth. A typical day filled with healings and miracles. A typical day where people put their faith in Him and that faith was rewarded. A typical day that can still happen this day for anyone truly seeking a Savior. Sometimes in this life we get so bogged down with the grind -- even in the church. We can tend to forget the principle message of Christ -- repentance and forgiveness of sins. We can tend to forget the power our Lord and Savior possesses. We can tend to forget the healing and miracles that He can do in the lives of people on any given day. So take a walk with me through this typical day and let us see the miracles first hand again and apply them to ourselves and our loved ones today.
Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven." -- Matthew 9: 1-2 (NLT)
Our walk with Jesus starts with the healing of a paralytic man. There are many things in this life that can paralyze us. Besides physical ailments, the world is a very unforgiving and relentless place. Many people, including Christians are paralyzed by their past. Haunted by mistakes and decisions they have made which they can never get back again. Haunted by the collapse of youthful dreams that were never realized. Haunted by sin or unforgiveness. These things are like shackles binding us and restricting us from moving forward in our lives. They paralyze us. Others are paralyzed in the present. They seemingly have no direction. They do not know which way to go. They are living but only on a day by day basis. Each day paralyzing us from considering what future God might have intended for us. If not past or present, many are paralyzed by the future. The unknown tightens around them and chokes the present life out of them. Fear, anxiety and panic are rampant paralyzing agents in this culture. Billions upon billions of dollars are spent each year to cover up symptoms instead of treating the root problems of the paralysis. The good news is that Jesus looked at this man and said -- walk! The key verse reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever so the same Jesus that started His day by healing this paralyzed man also can heal you of what paralyzes you. Why? Because He has the authority:
And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for sending a man with such great authority. -- Matthew 9: 7-8 (NLT)
Great authority! That is the God we serve beloved. Whatever you find paralyzing your life today God can heal it with a single word and produce the same miracle in your life that He performed here for this man. Moving on in His day, the leader of a Synagogue approaches Jesus because his daughter had died but he knew if Jesus would just come and touch her that she would live again. Before He could perform this miracle however another occurred:
So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." -- Matthew 9: 19-21 (NLT)