Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
G. Christ As Israel's Messiah And God Incarnate By His Power To Forgive Sins
(Matthew 9:1-8)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is God's Messiah, the One Who is a child born unto Israel as predicted in Isaiah 9:6a, then He must also be Israel's " Mighty God," for Isaiah 9:6e identifies this Messiah child born unto Israel as such!
    2. Among the many evidences that Jesus is the Messiah is the witness of Matthew 9:1-8 that He is also God come in the flesh, or God Incarnate, and we study it for edifying applications (as follows):
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah And God Incarnate By His Power To Forgive Sins, Matthew 9:1-8.
    1. The Mosaic Covenant that ruled over the Hebrews in Jesus' era provided that righteousness would be rewarded by good health where sinful living would result in poor health, Deut. 28:1-2, 11 with 28:15, 27.
    2. Accordingly, for those who suffered severe maladies like paralysis of all of their limbs, they felt especially stigmatized by their condition, so a great amount of guilt accompanied such physical ailments.
    3. In such a setting, friends of a paralyzed man brought him lying on a bed to Jesus in public, revealing the paralytic was determined to have his condition and sin fully solved by Jesus, Matthew 9:2a.
    4. Jesus saw the faith not only of the afflicted man, but also of his friends, so Christ first addressed the issue of sin behind the afflicted man's physical problem, Matthew 9:2b,c:
      1. The expression "be of good cheer" (KJV) translates the word, tharseo, "be cheerful, courageous" (Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 352) that refers to "subjective courage," John F. MacArthur, Matthew 8-15 (NTC), 1987, p. 51; Matthew 9:2b. It contrasts with, tolmao, "outward boldness" (Ibid.), so Jesus was encouraging the afflicted man no longer to be afraid, Ibid.
      2. This man's fear was related to what sin he was convinced was behind his great affliction, evidenced by the fact that Jesus then addressed his sin, asserting, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," Matthew 9:2c KJV.
    5. The Hebrews of Jesus' day knew that Micah 7:18-19 with Isaiah 43:25 taught that only Israel's Old Testament God forgave man's sins, so certain of the scribes present thought in their hearts that Jesus had blasphemed, claiming to be God when they did not perceive Him to be God, Matthew 9:3.
    6. Jesus then revealed He was indeed God Incarnate, God come in the flesh, as Israel's Messiah and the "Mighty God" of Isaiah 9:6, and that by what He did in Matthew 9:4-7 (as follows):
      1. First, Jesus signaled He was from God by His ability to read the thoughts of these scribes, asking them the question, "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" on His statement on forgiveness, Matthew 9:4.
      2. Then, Jesus asked whether it was easier to tell the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, or to tell him to rise and walk, Matthew 9:5. Since it is much easier to say one is forgiven as there was no way to verify such a claim, one could test if Jesus was from God by whether He could heal the paralytic.
      3. Well, to verify that He could forgive sins on the earth as God Incarnate, Jesus told the man afflicted, "Arise, take up thy bed and go unto thine house," Matthew 9:6.
      4. The paralytic amazed the crowd by rising up, taking up his bed and walking of to his house, Matthew 9:7. This was a remarkable miracle not only in terms of restoring the man's damaged nervous system, but in making the bones and muscles complete with their coordination through the brain totally normal, and enabling the man to have the coordination without any physical therapy to do what Jesus said!
    7. The onlookers could only marvel and glorify God that He had given such power unto men, Matthew 9:8. They did not realize Jesus was God Incarnate, but marveled that a mere "man" like Jesus had been given the power to heal the paralyzed and to forgive sins, an errant belief due to the limit of their understanding!
Lesson: Jesus revealed that, on the earth in His human body, He could heal sins that caused even severed physical maladies under the Law, and that by healing a paralyzed man in connection to pronouncing him forgiven. Jesus is thus God Incarnate on the earth, cf. Colossians 2:9.

Application: May we trust in Christ as Messiah and God Incarnate to be saved, John 20:31. May we be encouraged that He will forgive even those who commit great sins, and go to Him for all forgiveness.