Matthew 9 is a full chapter with several very significant events given. In this chapter we see:

Verses 1-8 – A man sick of the palsy healed.

Verse 9 – Matthew’s calling and his obedient response.

Verses 10-13 – The Pharisees’ condemnation of the Lord for eating with tax collectors and sinners.

Verses 14-17 – John the Baptist’s disciples ask the Lord about fasting.

Verses 18-19 – The ruler’s request for the healing of his daughter.

Verses 20-22 – The woman with the issue of blood healed.

Verses 23-26 – The ruler’s daughter raised from the dead.

Verses 27-31 – Two blind men healed.

Verses 32-33 – The dumb man with a demon healed.

Verses 34-38 – The blaspheming Pharisees and the Lord’s compassion on the multitude.

I encourage you to spend time in study and contemplation of this chapter. We cannot give a commentary on the entire chapter here, but I would like for us to consider verses 1-8, “And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.”

This is a remarkable event that is also found in Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26. We learn in Mark 2:3-4 that the man with the palsy was carried to the Lord by four friends. They could not reach Him because of the huge crowd, so they tore a hole in the roof of the house and lowered him down to the Lord. This man was looking to be healed of his palsy, but he got much more than he expected. The Lord told him in Matthew 9:2, “Son, be of good cheer; THY SINS BE FORGIVEN THEE.” Not only did the Lord heal this man of his disease, he healed him of the cause of his disease…sin. The scribes and Pharisees were outraged at the Lord’s proclamation. They said in Luke 5:21, “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

The scribes and Pharisees were correct. No one can forgive sins except ‘God alone.’ This is a wonderful testimony to the truth of who the Lord Jesus is. HE IS GOD! The Lord asked them which was an easier task; to forgive sins or to heal diseases. To heal this man of his disease was simply an act of the mighty power of God. He spoke and the man was healed. To forgive this man’s sin was much more difficult. In order to offer forgiveness of sins, the Lord Jesus had to go to the cross and suffer God’s wrath for sin. We read in Ephesians 5:2 that Christ “hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” This is how the Lord Jesus could forgive sin. He PAID our sin debt Himself while on the cross. It was because of His great and boundless love for us that He gave Himself. We read in Titus 2:14 that Christ, “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

My dear friend, have you received God’s forgiveness for your sins? Have you come to Him with a repentant heart desiring His salvation? Have you bowed your knee to Him and owned Him as savior and Lord? If so, you can say as the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (316.1)