SPORTSPASTOR


Snapshot # 1 – Jesus Heals a Paralytic
May 31, 2009, 10:26 pm
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Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)
1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

Matthew focuses on things that Jesus does that point to his divine nature. First he sees the bold faith of the paralyzed man’s friends. He knows the thoughts of his critics. He shows God’s power to heal. The crowd who had witnessed the healing of the paralytic, praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” The Greek word for filled with awe is the same word for fear. When they realized that Jesus had the power to forgive sins they were filled with terror. This was the first time that this crowd realized that Jesus was God and that they were in the presence of God. Some esteemed him as God – meaning that they believed. The teachers of the law called it blasphemy and left the scene to begin to devise a plan to kill him.

Think about it. They came face to face with the truth that Jesus was God, the one who could forgive their sins. They either accepted and believed in Jesus or rejected him. What if we lived our lives in such a way that people saw Jesus in us so undeniably that they came face to face with the truth of God’s love in Jesus Christ? What if our lives reflected the character and nature of our Savior? Then others would see “evidence that demands a verdict.” Maybe God could use our witness to cause in their hearts and minds a crisis of faith that begs for them to see and believe or explain it away.

Just like the friends of the paralytic, we have a tremendous opportunity to bring our friends to Jesus. If any one of us has a friend who does not know Christ, or who does not care for Christ, or who is even hostile to Christ, it our Christian duty not to let that friend go. We must bring our friends into Christ’s presence. We cannot force people against their will to accept Christ. We cannot make people Christians, but we can do everything possible to bring them into Christ’s presence.



My Dreams Are Bigger Than Me

My dreams are bigger than me and I like it that way. My dreams will require divine intervention if they are going to be realized. My dreams are a vision that needs to be communicated to God’s people so that they can join in on the privilege of doing something that is greater than themselves. My dreams require responsibility, sacrifice, and teamwork. My dreams require prayer and perspective. My dreams are bigger than me and I would not have it any other way.

I listened to a sermon by Mark Batterson recently on the topic of courage. He pointed out that throughout history and throughout Scripture the people whose stories are passed down and stand the test of time are those about people who did something courageous. We don’t tell stories of those who chose to be comfortable rather than challenged. We tell the stories of those with a passion and zeal for life. We tell the stories of those who had dreams that were bigger than themselves.

Erwin McManus once spoke on the topic of passion and leadership. He pointed out that we follow people that are confident and passionate about the adventure that is in front of us. Leadership is influence. Often those leaders that are passionate are followed even if they are going the wrong way.

The Bible has tons of stories of people who made poor decisions and went the wrong way. We can learn from the mistakes of others. But we can also be inspired by those same men and women who realized if they were going to be successful in accomplishing God’s call on their future that they would have to ignore the doubters and pursue God ordained dreams that can only be accomplished if there is divine intervention. Dream big because God is big. Give him a chance to show his power and might and give him the glory when what you dreamed becomes reality.