March 1, 2023; Ember Wednesday
And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
2 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.
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
6 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.
7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
There are none so blind as those who will not see. As closely as the Pharisees seem to have followed the actions and locations of Jesus, they completely missed the point of everything He did and said. It seems to me a very willful denial of Him and His Father. They kept looking for a ‘chink in His armor’ and couldn’t cope with the fact that there wasn’t one.
Just a reminder – Ember days are any of a number of days reserved for fasting and prayer. Keep in mind that you can ‘fast’ from those things you tend to do routinely that take you away from keeping Christ central to your day, it doesn’t have to be food related. Or, you could do both – fast from food and any habit the time for which could be spent in prayer or contemplation. Just a hint to help you find a fulfilling Lent.
2 thoughts on “St. Matthew 9: 1 – 13”
All praise be to God who forgives my sins. He has blessed me with more than I ever deserved. Thanks, and praise be to Him all the days of my life.
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I humbly agree and add my own Amen.