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Faith Daily | 30 June 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 556


O God,

who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son

to suffer death upon a cross,

and by his glorious resurrection

delivered us from the power of the enemy:

grant us so to die daily to sin

that we may evermore live with him

in the joy of his resurrection;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen




GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 9: 1-8


And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. 2And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” 7And he stood up and went to his home. 8When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Jane Markotsis


Saying Jesus has authority is more practical than catch phrases or moral statements. It will directly relate to how we interact with others in the world around us. Jesus lived and taught in a way that amazed those around him because of his authority. He taught in a way that was different than their normal teachers. So far, we have seen Jesus prove his authority by healing sickness, calling disciples, calming nature, and casting out demons. Today we see that Jesus has authority over the forgiveness of sins, something only God could do.


This passage is about two things—one is about community and caring for those who are suffering, and the second is about Jesus’ forgiveness of our sins.


The paralytic in this story was cared for by a community. He could not hide his brokenness as it was apparent to all. Rather than running from this man’s brokenness, the community was moved to come together and assist him at his most vulnerable point. Being this vulnerable would be nearly impossible for most people because we are prideful, and we like to try and do everything on our own. Doing everything on our own is directly opposite to the gospel. We are all broken in one way or another and being vulnerable in community is one way we can experience an aspect of healing.


The paralytic in the story most likely wanted to be able to walk again. He was probably thinking, ‘If only I could walk, then I would be happy.’ The man, like most of us, probably believed his life would be complete when he had the thing he most wanted. This experiment is something that we do daily; we request something or seek after someone and believe that it/they will offer fulfillment or satisfaction, but true satisfaction comes from something deeper. It comes from being made right with God.


If you had to say out loud the biggest problem in your life right now, what would it be? If you answered anything other than your sin, you are misunderstanding your greatest need. We tend to believe that all the problems in our lives – financial, relational, or in the case of the text this week, disabilities – are our main problem, but the problem is sin. Often, we want to use Jesus for healing or fixing a problem, but Jesus knows what we really need. He knows we need to have our sins forgiven so we can be made right with God.


We are told in the scriptures that faith is a gift. Since it is a gift that means it is not dependent on what we do. We can’t gain more ‘faith’ by practice, we can only learn to trust Jesus more by obedience to his call. We need to stop looking to ourselves to try and muster up more faith, instead we need to go to Jesus and say, “Lord, help me with my unbelief.


When we speak of the cross, it should be with a sense of wonder that God came to rescue us from our own sin. What is your greatest wish? Is it that everything would always go smoothly? Or do you want your life to be new? Do you want your future to be redeemed, and do you want your past to no longer have a hold over your entire life? That is what Jesus’ authority does in our lives.


FINAL PRAYER


Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

Amen.

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