“Rise, pick up your bed and go home” (Matthew 9:6). Those were the words Jesus spoke to a paralytic man. And guess what happened? You guessed it! The man “rose and went home” (Matthew 9:7). That’s the background to our passage. Let’s read the passage, and then I will make some comments.
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
No wonder the people were filled with awe and praised God! You’d have praised God right along with them had you been part of the crowd. But wait … you are a part of that crowd today. So don’t get stuck in thinking God’s praiseworthy power and authority is limited to physical healing. What about …
• A person who trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Down on the mat of sin, they are raised up to new life! Praise God!
• The forgiveness after confessed sin. Held down on the mat by failure, God is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Praise God!
• The marriage that is put back together. I can only stand with awe when a husband and wife headed in separate directions are brought back together by the power of God! A down-on-the-mat-marriage healed! Praise God!
• An estranged child who returns home. Praise God!
• A restored friendship after years of fracture. Praise God.
Take time to fill in some of your own bullet points. God’s work today is just as awesome and praiseworthy as it was in Matthew 9. He specializes in raising up those who are down on the mat. Let him know how praiseworthy he is in your conversations with him.
Lord Jesus, never allow us to think that you worked powerfully “back then” but are not working as powerfully today. Open our eyes to see your work. Open our hearts to be filled with awe. Open our mouths to praise you. In your name. Amen.