“When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.’” (Matthew 9:2)
Today, we read another healing episode of Jesus occasioned by some really good friends who went all the way to bring a paralyzed man to Him. Other synoptic Gospels add the extra detail that these friends had to come in through the roof of the house where Jesus was.
Matthew tells us that Jesus was moved by their faith. These friends believed completely in Jesus so much so that their faith was visible to Jesus. Indeed, when it comes to faith, we can never hide anything from God because He sees our Heart. While these friends were acting out their faith, there were others doing the very opposite. Indeed, it is not everyone who comes to Church that is there for God. Like these scribes and Pharisees, there are many who come simply to pick errors, to cause disaffection and ultimately to work for the destruction of God’s work.
In the time of Amos, there was a man called Amaziah who claimed to be a priest but in the real sense, had lost his true calling and had become merely a minister of stomach infrastructure. Since he fed from the king’s table, he no longer had the effrontery to speak the truth to power. Instead, he turned around to attack Amos. Amaziah represents the many men and women of God who continue to attack the Church from within; by placing riches over the salvation of souls, they have bowed to satan.
Jesus’ question to the Scribes and Pharisees who challenged his authority to forgive sin is one that deserves some pondering. Jesus did not ask, “Why do you think I can’t forgive sins?” He asked: “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Lack of Faith in God is itself a great evil we must tackle in our lives. To underestimate God or to belittle God’s power and authority is just as bad as any sin we can think of.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from faithlessness. Amen. Bible Study: Amos 7:10-17, Psalm 19:8-11, Matthew 9:1-8).