HOMETOWN

“I knew you when…”  If you are the one who moved away from where you grew up to accept a job in another town, state or country, you will know the back story of what Jesus is experiencing as he went back to his own town.  Many know and are impressed with Jesus, who grew up there as a good student of the Law.  They are amazed with his apparent ability to now heal people.  But what do they really believe about who He is?  Do they still believe he is just another human like them? “Well, I knew Jesus when…”  “He was a good boy”, a little weird at times, but nevertheless a good son to his parents, strange story there, though.”  Is that what they were thinking?  “Did you hear about his insane cousin who lives in the wilderness eating bugs?”  “Yeah, that family is not like us, that’s for sure.”

I wonder if Jesus already knew the man who was paralyzed since the man was from his own home town?  Probably.  Remember, he is God’s Son, Jesus not only knows him physically but spiritually, with the ability, like God, to look inside and see his heart.  Jesus knows it is unclean and needs to be cleansed and changed from the inside out!  What good would it be to walk around, still a sinful man?  Wow, when we camp on this thought, we understand why Jesus dealt with the inside first, before the healing, “Be encouraged, my child!  Your sins are forgiven.” 

Jesus also “saw the faith” of those who brought the paralyzed man to him!  Jesus knew them, too, and knew their hearts of faith, enough faith to be kind and loving, hoping that their friend could be healed and walk again!  Do you see how much is going on here?  Friends, we have a Savior who wants to be our Lord, who not only heals but cleanses us from all unrighteousness and saves our souls for eternity—IF we believe!

Of course, the teachers who may have taught him in Synagogue School were outraged.  There immediate thoughts were–who does he think he is…God?  It was proven that that Jesus is indeed God in flesh by knowing exactly what they were thinking and mumbling about in outrage.  God sees hearts.  God knows our hearts.  Jesus knows what God knows.  Lesson in heart reading is complete! 

So, Jesus, always led by the Father, let’s his hometown teachers in on why he came and by who’s authority.  The big reveal is stated clearly for all to hear and see, “’I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.’ Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!’  And the man jumped up and went home!” 

But do they understand?  Not quite.  “…they praised God for giving humans such authority”.  I wonder what Jesus was thinking at this point?  Did He sigh?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT OUR OWN HEARTS…

Do we really believe that what we believe about God is really real?  Read this question many times until understanding grows and behavior begins to be fruitful.  For what we really believe will be reflected in our thinking and ultimate behaving.

Does Jesus look into my heart and see my faith?

Matthew—The Law Fulfilled

Matthew 9:1-8, NLT

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”

But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for giving humans such authority.

Abba, Father in Heaven,

Hallowed is Your Name.  Great are you Lord!  May Your Kingdom come and live in me, reign supremely in me.  May Your will be done on earth in every detail of today as it is in heaven.  May your glory be revealed to all those around us.  May we return seeing, hearing and understanding with really believing with praise to you!  Yes, give us this day evidence of Your Holy Presence living in us.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Lead us not into temptations to get even, hold grudges or bring them down with gossip but instead deliver us from sin completely.  Heal us from the past effects of our sins.  Move us forward, growing in your character.  For only by your power are we completely forgiven and healed.  So to you be the glory for all that is right and good forevermore. 

In Jesus Name, Amen, I really believe!

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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