“Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or “Stand up and walk.’ So, I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.”
Friday, January 11, 2013
Fear Not the Storms ***
S. Matthew 8:23 – 9:8
O. Jesus travels in a boat in a storm, offering a teaching on the way. More miracles are performed before heading back to town. A real pushback against Jesus begins in these scriptures.
A. While on the boat, Jesus falls asleep and then a storm hits. Despite the fury of the storm, Jesus remains asleep until the disciples wake him with their terror. He responds. “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” and immediately the storm subsides.
This is another example of how fear develops from lack of faith. We have a lack of faith that we can navigate through the storms of life, or that God will lead us out of these storms. It is fear that closes the eye of our soul. It ignores our relationship with God and the Universe. Without faith, we succumb to the darkness of fear.
Jesus and his disciples arrive at their destination to be met by demon-possessed people. After casting out the demons, sending those demons into a herd of pigs, the entire herd runs and drowns in the lake. The herdsmen go into town and tell the townspeople of what happened, and they come out to meet Jesus only to tell him to leave immediately.
This is another example of how fear chases away the light. Despite the amazing act of purging the demons from these people, despite all the miracles that Jesus has performed and will perform, the people are afraid. They have no faith; they cannot be saved.
After going back across the lake and back to their town, a paralyzed man is brought before Jesus and the disciples. Jesus says to the man “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” The teachers of religious law saw this and responded. “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God.” Jesus then says something very important.
Forgiveness is the key to our salvation. We must forgive all others. It is far easier to forgive someone then to tell them to be and do differently than the way that they are. It is that simple. We must lead a life of forgiveness of others. We must do what we can and not expect others to just “stand up and walk” when we ask them to. We must do it for ourselves.
P. May I fear not, even in the storms of life. May I always forgive and not expect others to change.