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Seeking Jesus

A Lent Reflection for Saturday, February 17 by Samantha Wade


Lectionary reading for 2/17/2024: Psalm 25:1-10; Psalm 32; Matthew 9:2-10

Selected passage for reflection: Matthew 9:2-10


Read

Matthew 9:2-8 CSB

2 Just then some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”

3 At this, some of the scribes said to themselves, “He’s blaspheming!”

4 Perceiving their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts? 5 For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then he told the paralytic, “Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.” 7 So he got up and went home. 8 When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and 

gave glory to God, who had given such authority to men.


Reflect

How nice would it be if God used the “path of least resistance” to fulfill his glorious purposes? It seems like a nice idea. The moment we pray our prayers are answered. The moment someone confesses that Jesus is Christ their whole life is changed for the better. Moments of miraculous change can and still do happen in the Christian experience, but God frequently uses what seems like convoluted means to fulfill his will.


“Your sins are forgiven,” Jesus told a paralytic man that lay before him. Jesus has healed crowds of people at this point of his ministry. I wonder what Jesus said to each person that was brought to him? I like to think that Jesus personalized his interactions rather than saying the same thing to each person. Regardless of what he has said before, the Pharisees were not expecting him to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” 


The reaction of the paralytic man was not recorded. The scripture does not even state that the paralytic man had faith. It was the faith of the men that brought in the paralytic that Jesus sees and acts upon.


Then we have this crowd of spectators. They came to be in close proximity to Jesus. They came to see him, hear him, and perhaps receive something from him. It is the crowd who rightly respond with awestruck worship when they witness the work Jesus has done.


Take a moment to read through the passage a few more times. Which character in this story resonates with you: the faithful intercessor, the one longing for healing, the doubting cynic, or the expectant spectator?  


Matthew 9:2-8 leaves me with a sense of joyous satisfaction that Jesus gives us what we need. Jesus not only physically healed a paralytic man, but first and most importantly restored the paralytic to the Father through the forgiveness of sin. Through this interaction, Jesus was able to use this situation to minister to everyone in the room. The faithful were acknowledged, the doubtful were confronted, and the expectant were witnesses of the glory of God.


Know that Jesus has an intended purpose for the work that he is currently doing in your life and the life of his Church. While his schemes may seem convoluted, I pray that when he reveals his power all around may glorify him.


Respond

Make some time to sit at Jesus’ feet during this season of Lent. Throughout the Gospels, people are seeking out Jesus to see him and spend time in his presence. Let us not grow weary of finding ways in our modern world to be in the presence of Christ. 


Rest

Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for this time you gave us to read this devotional. May the Holy Spirit continue to stir our affections for you. As the deer pants for water, so our soul longs for you, Lord. May you ordain time for us to sit at your feet that we may receive the good gifts you have for us. All to the glory of the Father, Amen. 


About the Author


Samantha Wade is currently a stay-at-home mom caring for her three young boys. Samatha received a Masters of Divinity from Denver Seminary in 2018 and was a chaplain in the Army Reserves. As a military wife and mother to young children, life is in constant transition for Samantha, so she strives to do ministry wherever the Lord may take her. Samantha and her family currently reside in Palmer, AK.



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“It was the faith of the men that brought in the paralytic that Jesus sees and acts upon.” Thank you for this reminder that Jesus acted upon the faith of the friends.

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I never really thought about how we have no idea what the response of the paralytic was. I do wonder if the significance of being forgiven of sins mattered to him, or if he was hoping for the healing and felt disappointed at first. I also wonder what the friends thought when they heard Jesus say that first. It makes me think about how often God gives me what I need, not necessarily what I want. And am I grateful?

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