Matthew 9 recounts the time when Jesus healed the paralyzed man. The scripture says:
“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over, and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. when Jesus say their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” (calling himself God because, according to the Torah, only God can forgive sins). Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; any they praised God, who had given such authority to men.”
It stands out to me that Jesus would start by saying, “Take heart, son” to the paralytic. He called him son, which identified him as an heir to the kingdom of God. He told him to “take heart.” In other words, gain courage, and confidence. Begin to feel better and hopeful. He then forgave him of his sins.
I want to hone in on the mindset of the paralytic for a minute. Can you imagine not being able to walk and having to be carried in on a mat by friends in to the presence of Jesus? What caused him to become paralyzed? Was it paralysis from birth, or did some sort of accident happen that caused him to become paralyzed? The Bible describes his condition as physical paralysis, but I wonder if he also battled mental paralysis? We can agree that this sounds like a man who was desperate to believe that Jesus was the son of God. He was desperate for a change in his life, and in his circumstances. He needed a miracle, and was just crazy enough to believe that Jesus could do it! Did he come to Jesus in shame? Was his mind filled with doubt as to whether Jesus would heal him? I ask this because Jesus responds with “take heart.” Again, in other words, “Believe I will. Be brave enough to dare to believe. Be confident in my presence.” He called him SON, and forgave his sins. Was this man thinking that his sins would somehow exempt him from being healed?
I love that Jesus started by forgiving him and calling him son. Jesus doesn’t look at us through the lens of our sins. He sees us through the lens of his love and his blood. Because of his sacrifice, when we choose to ask Jesus into our hearts, we become the sons and daughters of God. Heirs, heiresses. Entitled to the benefits of children of God.
Forgiveness of sins followed by healing is a pattern in the bible. The two are connected. These verses illustrate more:
Psalm 103:3 “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”
1 Peter 2:24 “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
Maybe you’re not dealing with physical paralysis, like the man in the story. But maybe you’re dealing with a mental paralysis…Maybe the devil has convinced you that you can’t go to God for forgiveness because he’s tricked you into believing that “you’re too far gone,” or “your sins are too great.” I’m here to remind you that God already sees all and knows all about you. There’s nothing about your past or your present that is a surprise to Him.
It is the heart of Jesus to forgive you and heal you of whatever it is you’re dealing with right now. Faith is more than knowing He wants to forgive you and heal you. It’s believing that He desires to, and He will, when you make your way to him like the paralytic man did. My prayer for you is that you will let nothing stop you from calling out to Jesus for healing. He’s so faithful and so willing. He will lovingly start by healing your soul, and then He will begin a work of healing in your heart and mind so that you can receive the all of the benefits attached to being an heir with Christ. Go to him! You are his son. His daughter. He desires to make you whole.