“When the crowds had seen this, they were awestruck and glorified God.” (Matthew 9:8)
In today’s Gospel, we read of a totally different response from that of the previous Sunday. Last Sunday the response to the healing of the two men possessed by evil spirits by sending them into the swine was one of displeasure. The people from the town came out to meet Jesus and begged Him to leave. By no means was that a proper response to be given to Our loving, kind and compassionate Lord. The response to the healing of the paralytic in today’s is two-fold: that from the scribes and another from the people in general. Only one of these responses is appropriately to be given to Our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A paralytic was in need of God’s love, mercy and healing power. The paralytic who was carried on a pallet by others was brought to the Lord. At once the Lord sees their faith. And faith is what is necessary before any healing or cure may occur. How truly blessed was that paralytic that there were others who truly cared about him and were hoping that the Lord God would effect a cure. One would hope that today and every future generation would have individuals who manifest their faith in God and kind-heartedness to their “brother or sisters in Christ,” a child of God.
Some of the scribes witnessed this cure, this healing. How did Jesus perform this healing? Jesus had said to the paralytic: “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Some scribes quickly objected saying about Jesus: “This man blasphemes.” This man claims to be God, for only God can forgive sins was their thought. Jesus at once knew what they were thinking and said: “Why do you harbor evil thoughts?”
It is true that God alone can forgive sins, for sin is offense against God.
Whenever one does not follow the Holy Will of God or transgresses one of the Ten Commandments, he or she commits a sin. What the scribes failed to recognize and acknowledge is that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.
Jesus then out of love and compassion proceeds to heal the paralytic. Jesus states He as the Son of Man (a Messianic title) has the authority, the power on earth to forgive sins. Jesus then addresses His words to the paralytic: “
” Once again we hear of the “healing power” of the Word of God.
The response from the bystanders, the people in general, was proper and for us today to have whenever we witness the healing power of God. They were awestruck and glorified God for giving such power, authority, to men (human beings).
Let us pray for healing whenever and wherever it is needed and for whomever the person be without distinction. For we all are children of God, created in His image and likeness and precious in His sight.
Rev George Worschak