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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 8:25-27, Matthew 8:28-34, Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus calms the storm, the healing of two demon-possessed men, Jesus heals a paralytic, Jesus forgiving sins, forgiveness of sins, ye of little faith, ’

Jo 17Have you ever tried to point out to a child something interesting you can see high up in a tree or in the sky? Sometimes this happens when we are driving our grandkids home from day care.

‘Look at that plane up there!’ we might say.

‘Where? Where?’

‘Way up there! Can you see it? Ooh, it’s really big!’

‘I can’t see it! Where?’

But by then, it’s almost too late. We may glance around at that point and realise our grandson has been looking straight ahead out the window rather than up. Or he might have looked up—but not high enough. Then he loses interest and is soon chattering about something else. The moment has gone.

I think I too have such moments in life of focussing in the wrong place. When challenges come my way, at first I am confused and wonder what to do. Perhaps I talk about it with someone. And I also pray. But I don’t leave it there. Oh no—that’s when the worry starts to creep in. What if this or that happens? What if things don’t change soon? What if this one’s too hard for God?

This week, I read three accounts in Matthew 8 and 9 of people in extremely challenging situations. I almost skipped over them—after all, I know these stories well. But then a little voice seemed to say to me, ‘No, look at them.  I mean, really look at them!’ The first was the account of Jesus calming the storm (25-27). So I stepped in that boat along with the disciples and imagined being in the midst of that furious gale. I panicked along with them and shook Jesus awake. Then his clear question pierced me to the heart:

You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (26)

Can you picture that moment when Jesus rebuked the wind and waves and, in an instant, everything became calm? I know I would have asked the same amazed question the disciples did, ‘What kind of man is this?’

I then read the account of the healing of two demon-possessed men (28-34). What a display of Jesus’ power and authority! Even the demons recognised this, shouting out ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ (29). Can you imagine that crazed herd of pigs rushing into the lake and drowning? Like the people from this region who then asked Jesus to leave, I think my mind would have been well and truly blown too.

I kept reading and found the story of some men who brought a paralytic to Jesus (Matthew 9:1-7). What a moment that must have been when the man whose sins Jesus had forgiven hopped off his mat and walked home! Can you imagine the stunned looks on the faces of the teachers of the law? Can you imagine that crowd, filled with awe and praising God?

Then Jesus seemed to speak into my spirit: ‘If I could do those miraculous things back then, why would you doubt I can make a difference in your life today? I’m alive! I can help you deal with the challenges you’re facing—or take them right away. Lift your eyes up! Look at me! Raise your sights!’

May we all do exactly that.

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