What Jesus Did! 'True Friends' — Matthew 9:1-3

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jesus got into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to Jesus a man that was paralyzed (crippled). The man was lying on a mat. Jesus saw that these people had much faith. So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Young man, you'll be glad to hear this! Your sins are forgiven." Some of the teachers of the law heard this. They said to themselves, "This man (Jesus) talks like he is God—that is blasphemy. "
— Matthew 9:1-3
Illustration of Matthew 9:1-3 — "Young man, you'll be glad to hear this! Your sins are forgiven."   ——   "This man (Jesus) talks like he is God—that is blasphemy. "

Key Thought

True friends are friends that help us find Jesus and let him minister to our needs and brokenness. Like the unnamed friends in this story, we must come to realize that the best thing we can do for a friend is help that friend come to Jesus. Our faith can make a huge difference in the lives of those closest to us. What's so amazing about Jesus is that he ministers to our real need, not just our apparent need. The key is finding him, and helping others find him. He'll do the rest, working his will in our lives if we're truly willing to let him take control of our own. Of course, he will work on what we most need, not necessarily what we most want. Unfortunately, there will always be those who will criticize us, along with Jesus, for doing his work. "It doesn't fit the way things are 'normally' done," they would accuse. "Precisely," I imagine Jesus saying, "something needs to be done differently enough to be truly redemptive. That's why I came!"

Today's Prayer

Holy and generous God, I surrender to you all of my life. I confess that there are parts of my life and my heart that I sometimes try to keep hidden from you. But this story of Jesus reminds me that the only person I'm fooling and hurting is myself. Heal what is broken in me. Take a look at it all, and humble me gently and remake me by your redemptive grace. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus got into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to Jesus a man that was paralyzed (crippled). The man was lying on a mat. Jesus saw that these people had much faith. So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Young man, you'll be glad to hear this! Your sins are forgiven." Some of the teachers of the law heard this. They said to themselves, "This man (Jesus) talks like he is God—that is blasphemy. " Jesus knew they were thinking this. So Jesus said, "Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, 'Your sins are forgiven.' {No one could see if it really happened.} But what if I say to the man, 'Stand up and walk'? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power." So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Stand up. Take your mat and go home." And the man stood up and went home. The people saw this and they were amazed. The people praised God for giving power like this to people.

Matthew 9:1-8

Related Scripture Readings

These two men followed Jesus after they heard about Jesus from John. One of these two men was named Andrew. Andrew was Simon Peter's brother. The first thing Andrew did was to go find his brother, Simon. Andrew said to Simon, "We have found the Messiah." ("Messiah" means "Christ. ") Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, "You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas." ("Cephas" means "Peter. ")

John 1:40-42

A friend loves at all times. A true brother always supports you, even in times of trouble.

Proverbs 17:17

Some friends are fun to be with. But a close friend can be even better than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.