Trinity 19 Sermon, 2018

This sermon was preached from an outline. The outline is included below.


Trinity 19 Sermon, 2018
Matthew 9:1-8
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

9:1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic— “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

  1. The scribes are bad at comfort.
    1. They think evil in their hearts.
      1. They accuse Jesus of blasphemy. Mark and Luke include: “No one can forgive sins but God alone.”
    2. They are evil.
      1. Man cannot forgive sins, true. But a Christian man can and does. So, it’s the scribes who can’t forgive.
  2. We’re bad at comfort, sometimes.
    1. We think evil in our hearts, sometimes.
      1. Sometimes we’re surprised by our evil thoughts.
      2. Sometimes not. We defend our thoughts— “They deserved that” or worse.
    2. We are evil, sometimes.
      1. We’re surprised by this sometimes, too.
      2. Sometimes not. We defend false doctrine. There’s nothing worse.
  3. To show his authority, Jesus argues from easy to difficult and then does the difficult!
    1. It’s easier to “forgive” because it’s not verified by look or feel.
    2. It’s difficult to say “rise and walk” because it’s immediately verifiable.
    3. Jesus is confronted with a seeming impossibility (forgiving sin). He presents a greater impossibility (healing the paralytic). To prove the former, He accomplishes the latter, confirming the former.
  4. We experience the easy—but—you only get the difficult because of/after the easy.
    1. That is, we have the forgiveness of sins now. Healing—we’ll get in the life to come.
      1. Sin and Sickness are related.
      2. Forgiveness and Healing are related.
    2. This is why the Small Catechism repeats the words, “Forgiveness, Life, and Salvation.”
      1. Wherever there is forgiveness, life and salvation follow.
      2. Forgiveness means Life. Life means Salvation. Salvation means Forgiveness…
  5. God has given authority to forgive sins to men (≠man).
    1. Already, Jesus taught forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    2. So, we rely on the God who has forgiven all, and it’s very easy, indeed, to forgive others.

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