Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 9:1-8
We start our new year with the resolution to “love them now”! So many people make New Year’s resolution about money, health, habit, and career. But the Bible suggests us to make a resolution about the relationship. The most important thing in our lives is relationships!
I heard the expression, “Happy wife, happy life!” Do you also know this? “Happy honey, lots of money!” But do you know how to make them happy? Women need love and men need respect. Women need conversation and men need recognition. Women need friendship but men need skin ship. Men, love your wife and listen to her! Be her friend! Women, respect your husband and recognize what he has done for the family and for you! Be his lover!
Why is it hard for us to follow such simple guidelines? Because we are self-centered we want to meet our needs first before we serve others. When we come to church and surrender our ego before God, we become different person. We learn how to serve others before we claim our own rights. That is why good Christians can enjoy meaningful relationships. People like those who serve them and who do not insist their own ways all the time. Such attitude is cultivated when we practice surrender our wills to God. When we think ourselves first, we call that “Sin.” When we serve others first we say we are born again and forgiven.
So, when a paralyzed man lying on a bed came to Jesus, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” So far, because of his physical condition, he had kept thinking about his needs. Who would bring me foods? Who would help me to have bath. Who would spend time with me? It was so natural and understandable for the paralytic to think about himself all the time. But when he experienced the love of his friends, who were willing to take risks to bring him to Jesus, he felt genuine love of his friends and for the first time blessed them from his heart. “I am useless burden to everybody! I want to die!” He might shout loudly! However his friends said to him, “No, we love you! We want you to be alive. We enjoy our relationship! We will do whatever it takes to save you! You are precious to us. You mean a lot to us. Your presence itself is a gift to us.” He was touched and moved. He felt to pray for them. For the first time, he blessed others. Instead of thinking about his needs, he thought of others. So, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Some of the scribes did not know what was going on. They just thought that Jesus was blaspheming. When Jesus proclaimed that the man was willing and ready to accept the love of others and of God, Jesus said to the paralytic: “Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” Jesus heals our body only after he heals our soul. This is happening still today. Love your family and love your neighbors! God will shower God’s blessings upon you and you will be the happiest person in the world!
- Observe others (your family or friends or church members) and identify a few needs that the person has. What can you do for their needs?
- Now stand up and go home! Enjoy your blessings!