I read these two chapters and was so excited to write a post at the end of last week and then life (and VBS happened). Thankfully, I am back to it today and ready to continue this discussion on the questions of Jesus with you!
Jesus only asks one question in Chapter 8 and it’s in the midst of a scary storm for the disciples.
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
I am pretty sure I would have been scared too! But in the midst of a terrible storm, Jesus is showing his disciples that God is in control and that they don’t have to fear because He is all-powerful to the extent that the weather obeys Him!
He does not ask this question to belittle them, but to remind them that the faith in Him, which they have been given is more than enough to overcome any fear.
Onto chapter 9…
“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith,he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.”
That first question, in verse 4, speaks to man’s sinful nature and desire to put down others. We are all guilty of it. What can I do to make myself look better and that person look worse? This question is a reminder of seeking God’s will and his goodness before seeking anything for ourselves.
What struck me here is that Jesus forgave the man’s sins first before he healed him. It’s the acknowledgement that we are all sinful, no matter what our physical condition. Jesus forgave our sins first and foremost, across the board, whether we were slave or free, healthy or ill, rich or poor. The ability for that man to get up and walk, was a miracle performed by Jesus.
I feel like there is even more depth to this passage and question, what do you pull from it?
I think Chapter 9 is going to require a 2nd post, which will come later this week!