Zechariah 4:1–14; Ephesians 4:17–32; Matthew 9:1–8
When some men brought a paralytic to Jesus, they came with the conviction that the man’s greatest problem was his paralysis. This was the problem that they and, no doubt, the paralytic himself thought Jesus would immediately address. But that was not the case. Jesus’ first words to the man lying on the bed were, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” While in human judgment the man’s paralysis was his biggest problem, Jesus diagnosed sin as his biggest problem and addressed it first by forgiving the man his sins, and only after that did he then make the paralytic get up and walk.
Like the paralytic, many people are suffering today from all kinds of afflictions: physical and mental illnesses, betrayal, persecution, hunger, thirst, homelessness, and many more things. Depending on the severity of these afflictions, it is easy to elevate them to one’s biggest problem, just like paralysis had been determined to be the biggest problem of the man who was brought to Jesus. While he is not indifferent to our afflictions, Jesus has come to heal us from our biggest problem. He has come to forgive sins and, thereby, restore our relationship with God, our Father.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for diagnosing my real problem, my sins, and healing me with your forgiveness. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Stéphane Kalonji, Pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church in New Bern, NC.