The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is writte by Dreem Nkumbula. Dreem has been going to St. Mary's for 5 years, you can normally catch her at the Life course, Homeless meals or on a Sunday trying not to overwhelm newcomers with her excitement as part of the welcome team.

Matthew 9:1-17

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

 9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some 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."

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

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

The Calling of Matthew

 9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

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

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Jesus Questioned About Fasting 14 Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?"

15 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."


Out of all of the wonderous miracles that Jesus performed my favourite one is when he heals the paralytic man. This chapter gets straight into the action with Jesus healing him by saying 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven' and he compares these words to saying something more directive and simpler 'Get up, take your mat and go home'. The significance of this miracle is vast and there are so many aspects to it. One of them is the fact that Jesus prophesied about what he came to do for the world as the sacrificial lamb. Here he tells the Pharisees that he has the ability to forgive us and take away the sins of the world. He later beautifully comes full circle with the crux of the chapter when he says 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' [1] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'

When people say things like the church is full of hypocrites and sinners I always say 'yes and I am one of them' because this chapter reminds me of Jesus' purpose; he came to save us. His salvation doesn't mean that we are now perfect, or we no longer make mistakes and things don't go wrong. Rather it means that we can live confidently knowing that His grace is sufficient for us, our sins are forgiven and we are no longer slaves to our fleshly impulses. We don't want to abuse God's grace and that's why repentance is at the core of our relationship with God's grace and Jesus our way through. When we come to our Father confess our sins and repent we ask Jesus to intercede on our behalf because we are imperfect. Jesus' word here shows me that you just have to turn up every single day asking for his mercy and He will do the rest.

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