Jesus, Healing, and the Paralytic Man in Matthew 9

Matthew 9:1-8

“For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?” v.5

If we are going to talk about healing we must clearly understand the emphasis (and lack of emphasis) placed on it in the NT. Here in Matthew, Jesus’ main concern is not to heal a man but to forgive his sins. Healing is secondary EVEN THOUGH it was primary for the paralytic and his friends. The paralytic came to Jesus for physical healing, but Jesus gave the paralytic inner healing, a true forgiveness of sins. Would Jesus give the paralytic what the paralytic wanted or what he needed? Think about it. If you came to Jesus with a request and he knew there was something far better and far more important than your request, wouldn’t you want him to do it? Wouldn’t you want that to be of utmost importance and priority? Wouldn’t you want that to outweigh all other concerns that you had initially brought? I hope so. But that’s not always the case.

Too often we come to Jesus with our list of things we need done, failing to realize that he has his own list of priorities for us. Jesus saw forgiveness as a priority for the paralytic not healing. What was the paralytic thinking when Jesus uttered the words, “Your sins are forgiven” and stopped there? Disappointment? Frustration? Confusion? How much are we like that? We come to Jesus, and he gives us a great gift. But it wasn’t what we wanted or expected. What’s our reaction? Perhaps it is similar to the way that the paralytic might have reacted.

Christianity isn’t about getting what we want from Jesus. It’s about Jesus giving to us what he knows is best for us. Our desires our secondary because we don’t easily understand what truly is best for us.

But what an element of grace we have here. Jesus addresses the paralytic’s primary need and then goes on to address his secondary need. He forgives the paralytic’s sins and then heals the paralytic. What a gracious God that here gives not only what the man needs but what the man wants.

Medical Alert Systems

So I did a lot of research on medical alert systems. You know, the whole “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. And so if you fall you push the pendant button (or wrist button if you go that route) and a company comes on the line and asks if you need an ambulance sent.

This link was extremely helpful in giving me ten companies to look at.

I went with Alert1 because they had a voice extender that appears to be what I need. And what I need is this: if my dad pushes his button from his apartment (in the basement), I need to know that he pushed it. With me being on the first or second floor the extender will let me know that my dad pushed his medical alert button. This is extremely helpful for two reasons: 1) our house is big so even if my dad yelled for help I likely wouldn’t hear him 2) he usually pushes the button at night when I’m fast asleep. So when he pushes the button not only will they talk to him through his phone set in the basement, they’ll also come across the “extender” and I will hear them talk as well. This will alert me to the fact my dad pushed the button.

Of course, I’m set-up in their system to be called before they call the ambulance. And so I would receive a phone call from them on my cell phone which would work, too. However, with our current company (ADT–which I don’t recommend at all) there have been two times where I wasn’t near my cell phone and he pushed his button. So 911 was called and I wasn’t even aware of it (and in both cases he had accidentally hit the button and didn’t realize it). And, no, ADT didn’t come online and talk to him. They just sent the ambulance. One reason I got rid of them.)

Need help approaching the subject with an elderly parent? The video below from Consumer Affairs is very helpful.

I hope this helps. A medical alert device is good for peace of mind–both for me and my dad.