Deliverance and Forgiveness

KEY VERSE: “Behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” —Matthew 9:2

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 8:28 – 9:8

EVER SINCE THE disobedience of Adam in Eden, all mankind through inheritance have suffered many kinds of illness. The consequence of sin has been death; and the attendant dying process has been rife with suffering and pain.

Jesus came to earth particularly to become man’s Redeemer, but his ministry also included demonstrations of the healing work to take place during his future kingdom. He encountered all types of people in proclaiming the Gospel, and hundreds had serious afflictions. In the cases cited in this lesson, two were possessed with devils, and one man was sick with palsy; our Lord healed all three! In Matthew 8:1-15, we read that Jesus healed a leper; a centurion’s servant who had palsy; and later that day, the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law was cured of a dangerous fever. That evening Jesus healed many others, including some who were possessed of demons.

Then Jesus and his disciples sailed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. In Gadarenes he met several more people possessed by devils. They were well-known for their fierceness; and they lived among the sepulchres. These afflicted people terrorized anyone who ventured too close. The demons acknowledged knowing Jesus, calling to him, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” After the Lord cast them out of the two demented ones, the devils asked to enter into a herd of swine grazing nearby. Jesus granted their request, but immediately the swine plunged off a precipice into the sea and drowned! When the swine herders reported this news to the townspeople, Jesus was asked to leave quickly!

Nothing more is said regarding the two who were healed. In the Mark and Luke accounts, one person who had been in the grip of an evil spirit is described as being cleansed, and was found sitting fully clothed, and in his right mind, no longer feared by the people! Possibly it was one of the two in this account. He went back to his home and told his friends what Jesus had done for him. In God’s kingdom, those who have suffered similar illnesses will be able to testify to the grace that came to them through Jesus.

Jesus again went by ship, to his own city. There a man sick of palsy was brought to him. Jesus, noting his faith, spoke the words of our Key Verse: “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Some scribes witnessed this event, and said to themselves, “This man blasphemeth.” Jesus chided them thus: “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?” (Matt. 9:5) Since the man remained in his unhealed condition, Jesus followed up his comment with these words: “The Son of man bath power on earth to forgive sins”—a fact that will be known worldwide in the near future! He turned to the afflicted man and told him to arise, take up his bed, and to go home. He joyfully did as he was bidden and the witnesses “marvelled, and glorified God.”—vs. 8

Disobedience caused sickness and death to come upon all mankind; but those who will accept Jesus as their Redeemer will be forgiven their sins and be delivered from the prison house of death, and the result will be good health! Isaiah prophesied, “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” (Isa. 33:24) See also Psalm 103:3.

Thus Jesus showed that forgiveness of sin, and the healing of disease, go hand-in-hand.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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