After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men. Mt 9:1-8
Take a moment to just put yourself into this scene. Decide for a moment which character you would like to be, someone in the crowd maybe? A person bringing the crippled man to Jesus perhaps? One of the scribes? Just let yourself fall into this scene at the harbor, watching Jesus get off the boat and come closer to you. Let yourself feel the air, feel the sunshine, smell the sea, and just get lost in the moment for a minute.
I think that at various points in our lives we have all been a character in this story. I know that I have been like a scribe before in my life. When looking at someone, who I know was doing what they were supposed to be doing, but it still was so out of the ordinary, and having thoughts of, well, who gives them this right? I have hardened my heart in that way. I have also been the person trying to bring the crippled man to Jesus. I know that through my conversion, Jesus is the way to salvation. I know that if I can be an example to anyone, I will, and if they want me to help them, I am always available, and I will always lead them to where I find my solace, Jesus. I have also been the crippled man, searching for help, and then being led home. I have had my biggest wounds healed time and time again, by just being present with the Lord. Then there were times, when I was just watching. I was watching everything unfold, and I have been at awe with the wondrous things that God can do.
Today, I pray for everyone to find peace with themselves, and look into each situation they are going through, and just ask for healing and help. Lord, please bring your compassion and love down upon us all, and help us to rise and walk, just as you did for the crippled man so many years ago. Help us to soften our hearts, and let us not harbor the evil thoughts within us any longer. Amen.