The first miracle of Matthew 9 presents one of the most striking illustrations of the divine nature and power of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  A palsied man is brought into the presence of Jesus, in hopes that the Lord might heal him.  Strange indeed must Christ’s first words have sounded in the ears of those present: “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”  It is evidently implied that the diseased man already had faith in Christ, else the Lord would never have pronounced forgiveness upon him.  Forgiveness of sin is a benefit only conferred upon those who believe in Christ.  Very likely it was at the suggestion of this man that his friends had gone through such difficulties to get him into the presence of Jesus.

There is an extraordinary claim hidden in those words, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.”  The Lord Jesus is claiming a prerogative which His enemies rightly understood to belong to God alone.  But they entirely missed the point, and accused Him of blasphemy.  They did not understand that the Teacher standing among them that day was not a proud man, but was the most unique person in all the universe, the One Who is both God and man.  He is that holy thing born of Mary who was called the Son of God.  He is the child born, the Son given, Whose name is called “mighty God, everlasting Father.”  Because Jesus Christ is divine in His nature, though He humbled Himself to assume the nature of man, yet it is still fully within His rights to exercise divine authority, and forgive the sins of those who look to Him by faith.

This in view, Christ thrusts upon them an unanswerable question:  Is it easier to forgive a man’s sins, or by a mere spoken word to enable a palsied man to stand up on his feet and walk?  Both things are, of course, impossible to men.  “But with God all things are possible.”  Therefore, in order to prove the true majesty of His person, and that God the Father had given Him power on earth to forgive sins, Christ commanded the diseased man to not only arise, but also to pick up his bed and carry it to his house.  This the palsied fellow did, much to the astonishment of the multitude.  Their reaction, unlike that of their religious leaders, was commendable, in that they praised God Who had given such power unto men.

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