Do you know someone who asks great questions? I love spending time with people like that. I think it’s because I believe asking and answering questions are one of the best ways to get to know a person and to share who you are with them.
I also think good questions are a great way to determine what you really believe about something and how you can better apply your beliefs to your life. That’s why a lot of my blog posts end with application questions.
I think Jesus was/is the Master Question Asker. And the big question in today’s passage is one of my favorites.
Jesus has just told the paralyzed man on the mat that his sins are forgiven. And now the Scribes are thinking to themselves that this man is claiming to be God because He says He forgave the man’s sins.
And Jesus knows what they’re thinking. So He asks them a couple of questions.
I’m sure the first question caught them off guard, because it revealed that He knew what they were thinking and that He considered it evil.
The next question comes quickly on the heels of that one and is the big question.
Jesus asks the Scribes which is easier to say: (a) your sins are forgiven or (b) get up and walk.
Well, duh. It’s much easier to say your sins are forgiven because there’s no physical way to prove that it really happened.
But Jesus doesn’t give the Scribes time to answer. He immediately says, “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
So, to show them that what He says just happened (the man’s sins were forgiven) really happened, He turns to the paralyzed man and tells him to pick up his mat and walk home.
And he does.
And the crowds are in awe and praise God—which is always one of Jesus’s goals.
This story shows that one of Jesus’s top priorities is our spiritual condition: the first thing He did was forgive the man’s sins.
But Jesus didn’t leave the man in the condition He found him: spiritually or physically. Jesus went on to heal the man’s physical condition that had him bound to his mat.
Jesus cares about our spiritual condition. He came to earth to redeem us through His death. That was necessary because of the sinful condition of our lives.
And Jesus also cares about our physical condition. Today’s passage is just one of many examples of that—in the scriptures and in our world today.
But Jesus also wants us to KNOW Him. He wants us to know who He is and the authority He has.
And He uses physical expressions of His authority here on earth to prove that He is who He says He is.
His ultimate goal of these physical expressions is to help us recognize that He is God, that He cares about our individual situations, that He is the only one who can forgive our sins, and that all our praise belongs to Him.
And a lot of times He uses good questions to help us get to that point.
What has Jesus recently done in your life (big or small) that helps prove who He is, how much He cares about you, and how much power and authority He has?
What situation in your life or in the life of a loved one has you questioning whether Jesus cares about the situation or can/will do anything about it?
What can you do to get to know Him better?
Matthew 9:3-8 NIV
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.