St. Luke's Church Faribault
- All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
- Grace Greater Than Our Sin
- title slideA lot of the world changing events this year sort of centered around authority. They centered around disputes over who has the authority, what they did with that power, and wether or not we gave them that authority.For instance, look at our lives in relation to the events of this past year. We had the COVID crisis, and our national, state and local governments and businesses began to restrict things that were never before restricted, and the population reacted. The population questioned their authority.The population became angry, and people fought among themselves, the mask wearing people against the non-mask wearing people. Now, this arguing really did not do any good, if you think about it. Very few of the people actually had the power to change the government most of the general population did not have the power and authority. That belonged to the government officials.Then our country erupted in violence. At the center of the racial violence, is also this idea of authority. Although it erupted because of what happened on the streets of Minneapolis, it had been building for a while. Again, at the core of the issue is authority. Are the people in authority rightly or justly wielding their power. People felt that the authority has not been using their power justly and fairly.Next, we had the election. Republicans fought with Democrats over who was going to get the authority to rule over the American population. Some recognized the authority, some did not. Chaos and fighting erupted essentially over whether or not authority was granted to them.slideWho has the Authority?The point I am trying to make is that at the center of these disputes, at core of the disagreements, the division and the discontent, is this idea of authority. Who we give authority to, or who has the authority, or how they use that authority and how we respond to that authority.We have been studying Matthew chapter 8. Today is the first section of chapter 9, and this section of Matthew’s gospel is all about the question of does Jesus have authority, and what authority does He have, and what does he do with that authority.Let’s find out, by turning to the book of Matthew, Chapter 9, starting at verse 1.1 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.SlideThe Authority of Jesus in Mt 4-9Sermon on the Mount (Intellectual)Heals (Benevolent-Good)Fulfilled Prophecy (Validates Scripture -has a Claim)Power over nature (Divine)Power over the underworld (Divine)Number one.Before you will follow someone’s authority, you have to agree with them. When people rebel against authority, it is because they do not agree with them intellectually. Jesus gives his famous campaign speech the sermon on the mount, and it is full of these great ideas.Things are good, who wouldn’t agree with that, we all want in on the new kingdom, climb aboard. But is that enough? We have all met politicians, Jesus needs something some action to back up what he is saying.That is #2 , He heals.Jesus is showing that He is good. He is for the common man, with all of his troubles. He is healing the the sick the outcast the untouchable, Jesus is reaching across to the common man, and curing them. Again further bolstering his claim to authority. However, if Jesus is going to have authority, he must fit into the Old testament somehow and in some way. He must be part of the picture, and as it turns out He is.That is #3-Matthew tells us that Jesus was spoken about long ago. In fact, more than 700 years before he came, God gave a message to a Man named Isaiah, and Isaiah wrote it down. This message corresponded to what Jesus was doing, and why Jesus was healing. He is curing our diseases and healing our infirmities.This fits perfectly with the historic definition of the person who should have authority over the Jewish people.This is enough for the people to grant him authority. This is enough for the population to crown Jesus their Messiah, they would follow this man, bring him into town and declare him ruler.However, it is not so simple. There is after all a God who is in charge of this universe. What would he think of all this business. There are after all things that even great rulers cannot control.Things like hurricanes, and the spirit world. So we reach this turning point, and we see the next two.#4, Jesus stills the storm.We make a big deal about him sleeping in the boat, and we ask ourselves questions why and all that, but don’t forget the main point of that story, the real shocker-He stilled a storm with his words. Peace-Be still.Jesus has power that goes with that authority.and number 5, Jesus encounters the underworld. A ruler is there to protect the people. Jesus demonstrates that He can protect us from the demonic. In that encounter we see this idea that somehow Jesus’s authority extends behind the world we can see and into the world we cannot see.When the demons beg Jesus not to torture them, we realize that Jesus’s authority extends beyond our world into the after life.Our text starts at verse 1.1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.Right after those two big events with the storm, and the demoniac, Jesus gets in a boat and crosses over back to his home town.Now the timeline seems rather rapid here, so we can presume that the events happened like this. There was the crowd following Jesus, they came to the shore and they chose to stay at home, and the boat sails off.The people go back to their houses, or wherever, and this storm whips up on the lake. They probably wonder if Jesus and the disciples will be ok, but it calms rather suddenly and they think nothing of it.They most likely know nothing of the encounter with the demons, when the boat arrives back on shore.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.”When they find out Jesus is back in town, they figure, hey he heals people, let’s go get Joe, the paralyzed guy. If anyone can use a miracle it is that guy.Now, Matthew’s record of this encounter is very brief. We read Mark’s description earlier. You are familiar with that version because it talks about lowering the man through the roof.Matthew thinks we do not need to know all those details. They must not be important to the text.Then, when this man gets in front of Jesus, Jesus says to him- “Take heart son, your sins are forgiven.”What a ripoff! Right? I mean this guy hasn’t walked for who knows how long, and all these people have been healed. The centurions servant, peter’s mother-in-law, all kinds of people, and we cut a hole in the roof, for what? Take heart your sins are forgiven?People today give faith healers literally thousands of dollars. They travel great distances to get into these conferences with the healers.What do think they would do if when they finally made it up to the front, the healer said-Your sins are forgiven? What? No No I want to walk, I don;t care about my sins. I want to walk.I mean really, how much sinning can a guy laying on a mat really do anyway?3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”Now the authority starts coming into the picture. The religious people, the authority figures, say to themselves-this man is blaspheming.Even though they say it themselves, no one else can here- They are saying it in their head. God knows-God knows what they are thinking. God knows what you and I are thinking. He knows that right now.And they are thinking, wait he can’t forgive sins! We often.miss the significance of that. We miss it because we just don’t think way. But think about it like this.Let’s say you inadvertently, or let’s make it intentionally, let’s say you are in hurry in the store, and you run into someone in line, and you knock the packages out of their hands. Then, much later a random person comes up to you at the gas station and says I forgive you for knocking that ladies packages out of her hand.You would be what? That is ridiculous! Only the person I wronged has the authority to forgive to forgive me.In all sin God is the one who is wronged. Sure, there is sin between people. We still need to offer forgiveness to one another, but ultimately all sin is against God. And forgiving one another is a good start, but it does nothing toward their situation with God.When we sin-the damage goes two directions. It goes horizontal, meaning it has earthly consequences to ourselves, and one another. But all sin is also vertical as well. All sin is against God. It is affront to His authority, His law, either his natural law, that humans are his creation, or a violation of His written law, the 10 commandments, or more generally his written word.SO Since God is the one wronged, God is the only one who can forgive sins. People do not have that authority.If only God can forgive sins, and Jesus just said I forgive you- That means that Jesus is somehow making himself-equal with God.If Jesus a mere man-makes himself out to be God -well that is just blasphemy! That is what blasphemy Blasphemy is to slander or disrespect God-it is treason of the highest order.In those days in that culture this was quote serious. Today we think nothing of it. People use the Lord’s name in vain all the time, deny his existence, make jokes about Him. But do you realize, that in Jesus’s day people would be stoned to death for such things?That is why the religious leaders are so angry with Him. He is either committing blasphemy, or He is who he says is. And He is saying, is he is God.For those that say, well Jesus never claimed to be God, they are just wrong. He is it is-now whether you believe it or nit is up to you, but don;t say he didn’t claim it, because that is exactly what is going on here. You can write a note in your Bible proof of Christ’s deity-Mt 9, 2, 3 and 4.4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?He did not overhear them as some might be inclined to say. Knowing their thoughts-not hearing their words, and HE knows what is in their hearts. Who knows what is in a man’s heart but God himself?5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?Of course it easy to say your sins are because we cannot prove he is wrong. We cannot see forgiven sins. He might be forgiven he might not be how can I tell? I can’t see if he is forgiven. It would be easy for Jesus to say that.Ahh the man is forgiven, and we all walk away, but if Jesus says get up and walk and he can’t then we know Jesus is a fraud, and that is what it is looking like right now. It looks like Jesus is a blasphemer- a big fake and a phony.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.”But… I want you know… I want you know something… I want you to know that “The Son of man has AUTHORITY on earth to forgive sins” Jesus want you to know HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS_ He has the authority of God Almighty. He wants you know that everything he has did or said up to this point in Matthew is from God himself.But, he says I want you know! Now, if Jesus was a blasphemer, if was not God, then the paralyzed man would just stay right there, on the mat. God would not honor the request of a blasphemer with a miracle.God would have left that man on the mat, we would not know if he was forgiven, and we would have no way of knowing who Jesus was, other than a man who lived 2,000 years ago.So he said to the paralyzed man-Get UP! Take up your mat and go home.7 Then the man got up and went home.He got up. The man got up and went home.The man got up and went home- Do you understand what I’m telling you. He got up-He went HOME! This PROVES Jesus is God AND the mans sins are forgiven.The man walking is the evidence of Jesus’s deity-The walking is the proof of the forgiveness.How do I know if I am born again? How do I know If I am forgiven? It is not in what a pastor says, or what a priest may tell you. I can tell you you are forgiven all day long, but it means nothing unless I have the authority to do so, and only God can forgive sins.How do I know if I am born again? How do I know If I am forgiven?You GET UP! You take up your mat and walk. How do I know if I have been raised to a new life- You walk out of the grave- You say goodbye to old life- You go and sin no more- You take off Your grave clothes. Your heart burns from within as you hear the words of scripture, you relentlessly pursue Jesus Christ with a love like you have for nothing else.You praise God, you desire more of Him, you leave your old life behind. You desire to grow and not to sin anymore.8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.Like the crowd, you see the work God has done and you praise Him for it.Maybe You do not know or you are unsure if you are forgiven. Maybe you have never scene that Jesus is fully God and fully man in this way.6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.No one comes to God the father except through Him. All of us, everyone of us need the forgiveness that Jesus offers to us at the cross. He can offer that forgiveness because He is fully God and fully man. Because He was without sin, he had no sin of own to pay for that allowed Him to pay for our sinWhen you place you faith in Christ, it means you recognize His authority, accepting who He is and submitting to him. Then when you recognize Jesus’s authority, and submit to it- Then you are forgiven you are a new creation the old has gone the new has come.You desires and you life is now in the hands of God and He molds you shapes you and walks with you.How do I know I am forgiven- You walk! Now get up and walk!
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