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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven."

But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, "That's blasphemy! Does he think he's God?"

— Matthew 9:1-3 NLT

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, both finding him ourselves 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 lives. 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 me. 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 1:40-42
  • Proverbs 17:17
  • Proverbs 18:24


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Illustration of Matthew 9:1-3 NLT — "Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven."   ——   "That's blasphemy! Does he think he's God?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.