Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Matthew 9:2-7 (NIV)
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.
So why are all these miracles important? As Jesus says, “so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”. Our sinful lack of faith in the power, authority, grace, and love of God needs to be forgiven and Jesus loves to forgive! He forgives sins even before people ask for it and He forgives sins when people come seeking physical healing. Why? Because what Jesus knows we need more than anything else is a new, thriving, loving relationship with God. So Jesus came to give it to us for free. All we must do is receive it with faith. Through faith in Jesus, God holds nothing against us. We are completely forgiven and deeply loved. It does not matter what we have done or what we might do. Let us cling to the hope that Jesus does, in fact, have the authority to forgive us and give us new life.