Trinity 19 - The Sunday of the Paralytic
Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
October 4, 2015
Central Passage
Matthew 9:1-8

In the name of the FATHER and of the + SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Here we see Yahweh, the Lord, forgiving His people, healing His people, and rebuking the unbelief of His people. He’s been doing it since He called out to the man in the Garden: “Man, where are you?” He sought man so as to be reconciled to him, and He found him and He covered his shame.

Nothing has changed in the will of Yahweh, the Lord who calls Himself, I AM. Now the Lord has sought out His people by sharing with them their humanity. The Lord Himself came down from heaven, from His throne, to wear the flesh of man and to walk with men. He became one of us to find us and to cover our shame. In the Garden He covered the shame of the man and woman by killing an animal and covering them with its skin. Blood must spill to cover shame. But that was only a shadow, a type of what was to be. The Lord would cover man’s shame by spilling His own blood and covering us with Himself. The baptized have put on Christ; the Lamb of God covers their shame.

Here is Yahweh, the Lord, forgiving His people, healing His people, and rebuking the unbelief of His people. Just like He did though Moses. The Lord brought out His people from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promise Land. He gave them His will and called them to walk according to it. They did not. Yet the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and keeps all His promises. Even though His people wandered in the wilderness for a generation, for forty years, the Lord did not abandon them. He walked right there with them in the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle. He did not, as we do, abandon those who abandoned Him. He did not, as we do, forsake those who forsook Him. Instead He remained with them, guiding, rebuking, consoling, and promising. The Lord remained with His people.

But that, too, was a foreshadow, a type of what was to be. The Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle foreshadowed the body the Lord would receive from His mother. Yahweh didn’t plan on staying in a tent forever, but would instead take on the tent called human flesh and become man and remain man forever so that humanity would be drawn into the divine. The wilderness, too, is a foreshadow, a type of this life we walk, full of serpents and pitfalls, temptations to doubt the Lord’s faithfulness, full of naysayers and doubters. Yet the Lord is with us. He has not abandoned us or forsaken us. He is among us as He was among His people so long ago.

The Lord desires to be with His people, to forgive them, to heal them, and to guide them in the truth. He is not like other gods that demand that we come to them as they sit there, unable to do anything, who exact from us devotion by threats or coercion. The Lord our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He comes to us and is devoted to us. Not because we are His gods or masters but because He is our God and Master for our good and for our abundant blessing. He forgives us and heals us, and guides us in the truth that we would walk in His ways and not stumble.

But no longer does He walk among His people in the flesh, though He is truly man ascended to the right hand of God. But now He has set up His Church, His holy congregation where He promises to be, which is called His Body. Now He is not bound to Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria, but He is all over the world, like lightning that flashes from the east to the west, so the Son of Man is come.

He is in the smallest villages and in the greatest cities. He is in the remote jungles and the populated metropolises. For this whole world is the wilderness and His people are scattered over

the whole globe. And He is with His people. Here He is; here is Yahweh, the Lord, forgiving, healing, and leading into truth.

So why do you think evil and question in your hearts if the Lord is among us? If the sins forgiven here are really forgiven or if the bodies here are truly healed and will be truly raised from the dead? The evil of the scribes is that they did not recognize Yahweh when He was with them, even as many do not recognize Him now, but think that this is mere tradition, mere ceremony that can be taken or left at our discretion. How many things of this world lead us astray, away from the Body of Christ. Simple things, complex things, seemingly innocent things, even seemingly holy things. Yet the Lord has always worked through means. He worked through Abraham, through Moses, through the Tent of Meeting, through the Temple, through the Virgin Mary, through the body prepared for Him by His Father, and now through His Church, which is His Body.

The friends of the paralytic, they recognized the Lord and they rejoiced that He was among them to forgive, to heal, and to open the way of salvation.

Hear, O people of the earth, O inhabitants of Hoisington, the Lord our God is among us. He is here where He gathers His people to forgive them, to heal them, and to guide them in the way of truth.

So that you may know that He is here, He gives His body to eat and His blood to drink. So that you may know He is here, He gives His word to be spoken, heard, and believed on. So you may know He is here He gives His ministers, His preachers, even His angels, who proclaim the incarnation and the glory of Him who is very God of very God, building up the Body of Christ and tearing down the idols of men.

The Lord our God is among us. He is on earth, Immanuel, God with us. In mercy He rebukes the erring and confirms the righteous. He heals the sick in His body and raises the dead through His resurrection. He puts sin to death by His death and covers our shame with His own flesh, in which God is pleased to dwell with men. He has placed His authority in men because He Himself became man; the authority to forgive and to heal and to call upon His Father as our Father.

Bring your friends who are sick, who are sinners, who are dying, bring them to the Lord who forgives all your iniquity and heals all your diseases (Ps. 103:3). He will see your faith and say to them, “Take heart, my child, your sins are forgiven” and will cover them with His Body. Even as He has seen the faith of those who brought you and hears the prayers of those who pray for you, and so says to you, “Take heart, my child, your sins are forgiven” covering your shame with His Body.

+ In Nomie Iesu +