Father Rodney Torbic

June 25 / July 8, 2018

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 9:1-8

And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, 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. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. (KJV)

Reading or listening to the Holy Gospel enables a believer to experience the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Gospel contains the words and much of the known earthly life of Christ.

The Gospel enriches the lives of welcoming listeners. The Lord Jesus Christ makes a definitive difference in the lives of welcoming believers. Each word of the Lord Jesus Christ carries the power of Christ to change lives.

The Holy Gospel has vivid accounts of lives being changed and individuals being healed. The present Gospel is an excellent example of the difference the Lord Jesus Christ makes in a human life.

The present Gospel deserves careful attention. Every person can benefit from the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was mobile. He travelled to different places. Jesus was accessible to many people during His earthly life.

He is accessible to individuals today. He is accessible in Godís churches and in prayer at all times. Strong faith is important to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus recognized the strong faith present when the paralytic was brought to Him.

Jesus took immediate action. He forgave the paralyticís sins. Imagine the feelings the paralytic experienced when he heard the words of Jesus. Imagine the impact Jesusí words had on the paralytic and the individuals who brought him.

Jesusí words carried weight. They had an impact. They made a difference. Jesusí words initiated a reaction. Jesus sought to change the disposition of the paralytic. He encouraged the paralytic to be of good cheer.

Having sins forgiven is cause for joy. Having sins forgiven provides a removal of weight from the conscience. Mobility increases and energy increases when sins are forgiven.

Everyone is a sinner. Everyone whose sins are forgiven benefits as a result. The individuals bringing the paralytic to Jesus had their effort validated by the action of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Helping a person come to Christ is always rewarding. The individuals bringing the paralytic to Jesus enabled a great change to take place. Certain scribes were not willing to accept the words of Jesus.

These certain scribes took a critical view. Many individuals today reject the words of Christ. The amount of individuals not going to church demonstrates greater importance is placed other than on the Gospel of Christ.

Where individuals spend their time and their income and where they invest their talents are strong indications of where their interests are. The Lord Jesus Christ said: ďWhere your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Ē (Mt. 6:21)

The words of the critical scribes were challenging. They took issue with what Jesus had said. The scribesí words were an attack on His authority. Jesus was viewed simply as a man. His divinity was not recognized.

The critical scribes did not give credence to the power of Jesus. Their statement did not reflect that the paralyticís sins were forgiven. The cheer Jesus encouraged in the paralytic was in direct contrast to the mood of the scribes.

Jesus had the ability to know the thoughts of the critical scribes. Their motivation did not escape Jesus. Evil cannot be hidden from Jesus. The scribes were witnesses to Jesus talking with the paralytic.

The scribes had the choice to rejoice at being present. They had the choice to praise Christ and welcome His words. Some individuals today choose to reject and be critical of accounts of good by Jesus and in the name of Jesus.

Accepting and welcoming Christ requires conscious decisions. The power of choice rests with each individual. Jesus questioned the scribes as to why they had evil in their hearts.

How often today is the question asked as to why a certain individual has evil in his or her heart? Why is it that in a certain family that evil reigns in one memberís heart and good is present in the hearts of other family members?

Why is it that in certain families good seems to be ever present and in other families evil seems to be ever present? The heart is the battleground. When Christ prevails, good is forthcoming.

When evil prevails, the evil behavior reflects the contents of the heart. Care must be taken in what is permitted to enter and remain in the heart. Jesus wanted the scribes to appreciate His identity.

Jesus wanted the scribes to realize the extent of His power. Jesus posed a question. To answer Jesusí question, the critical scribes had to weigh the complexities of the forgiveness of sins with the intricacies of physically healing.

The scribes were faced with determining if Jesus had the power to forgive sins and whether they would recognize Jesus as the forgiver of sins. Believers benefit greatly when learning Jesusís words and actions in the Holy Gospel.

June 25 / July 8, 2018
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.
Holy Virgin Martyr Febronia.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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