Reflections: Monday of the 19th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Matthew 9:1-8

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 25:17-26:19; Matthew 17:1-13

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2b)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Time and time again, the same story plays itself out.  Disaster. Fear. Despair. Frustration. Christians pray. Things are still a mess.  Never mind the questions of “why did this happen?”  Those questions don’t get asked when you still can’t catch your breath. These days, we ask “What happens now?”  

We know God answers prayer, but sometimes the medicine we ask for isn’t the medicine we’re given.  Sometimes God doesn’t seem too concerned with what we want to talk about.  Folks bring a paralyzed man to Jesus for a reason.  He needs help.  Jesus looks upon him with compassion.  Sees his troubles.  He can’t walk. He can’t care for himself. He can’t care for his family.  So He says to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”  But what happens now? He still can’t walk. 

We google what’s wrong with us and ask for the cure we’re sure will help.  Oddly enough, they still send doctors to medical school.  Your doctor shouldn’t just give you what you want, but what actually addresses what’s wrong with you.  Jesus takes aim at the deadliest disease first.  Sin. It’s a condition. A disease. A cancer that won’t be tamed by eating better or trying harder.  It brings death and all its trappings.  All the sins you commit and all the ones you hide are symptoms of what’s really wrong.  So that gets cured first. 

Jesus bears the cross for you.  To forgive you all your sins.  He dies.  He rises.  Because death and all its trappings are undone.  The rest follows when the time is right.  Sometimes that’s soon, and answers the question “what happens now?”  Sometimes that’s the last day and we can’t answer “when”.  But we can know that it’s coming.  Your healing was already paid for by the cross. Already shown in the empty tomb.  And that does help with “What happens now?”  Now, we gather around Jesus, the source of strength and healing.  Sometimes we have to carry each other for a while.  But we know where to take what’s wrong.  

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Ev’ry wound that pains or grieves me By Your wounds, Lord, is made whole; When I’m faint, Your cross revives me, Granting new life to my soul. Yes, Your comfort renders sweet Ev’ry bitter cup I meet; For Your all-atoning passion Has procured my soul’s salvation.  (Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing, LSB 421:4)

-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.