The Hope of Forgiveness

Matthew 9:1–8, 10–13

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But 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.” 7Then the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13…For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

From last time, we might be left thinking:

If Jesus is ‘God with us’, what did he come to do? Why does it matter?


Why is Jesus’ initial statement to the paralysed man surprising? What does this tell us about what our biggest problem might be?


How does Jesus prove he has the authority to forgive the man’s sin?


Who does Jesus say he has come for?

Food for thought

What would it be like to know full forgiveness for everything wrong we’ve ever done…?