Matthew 9:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic
1 So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.
2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?
6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
7 And he arose and departed to his house.
8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled[a] and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
"Be of good cheer." Jesus brings joy to the world.
--Most people could us some cheer and encouragement.
--Growing up in Texas, Dan Cusenbery is remembered as one of the most cheerful men in town; all knew him.
--Whatever the weather or world conditions, he always had a smile, kindness, and cheer - like Jesus.
--We need more like Jesus, and the joy He gives.
The Gospels give us three "Good cheers" Jesus gave to others - and that He wants to give to us - to share.
--When down, or disappointed, let Jesus cheer us up.
I. JESUS GIVES GOOD CHEER TO THE UNSAVED AND SINFUL.
--In Matthew 9 Jesus performs six miracles, the first is the healing of a paralyzed man unable to walk.
--Recorded in Matthew 9. Mark 2. And Luke 5.
--He was brought "on a bed" or stretcher by four men.
--"When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you'" (v 2). Wow! Forgiveness cheers everyone!
At first these men could not get in, for the crowd.
--So they climbed the outside stairs to a flat roof.
--They uncovered the skylight, lowered the man down.
--Where Jesus "preached the word to them" (Mark 2:2).
--I've been on such flat roofs like that in Israel.
--Jesus didn't mind. He saw the need of this man.
--He also saw the faith of his four friends.
--Jesus said, "Be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you." Come friend, let Him speak such to you.
--That's why Jesus came; to bring cheer, forgive sin.
Jesus puts first things first, we all need forgiving.
--We need salvation and eternal life, to live for God.
--It is our fountain or foundation of joy, and peace.
Then Jesus healed the man's paralyzed body; saying, "Arise, take up your bed and go to your house" (v 6)
--This man had to be carried in. He walked out.
--Don't you know he was full of joy and good cheer.
Physical healing is temporary. Spiritual is eternal.
Let us be sure there was rejoicing in that man's family, and his friends - for his forgiveness, healing.
--God wants us to be whole. Well. And to be holy.
You may say, "The Lord has not healed me, if He had I would leap for joy also, and praise Him too."
--I'm sorry, friend. Nor has He fully healed me.
--Yet the Lord has done so much for me - and each of us - so that I cannot help but rejoice and seek to live for Him! He forgives me. Saves and keeps me.
--So that I want to share His "good cheer" to others.
In Michigan we lived in a town with a Joy Boulevard.
--Whatever your town or street, make it a joy!
--To know, follow, praise and serve the Lord, helps.
II. JESUS GIVES GOOD CHEER FOR ALL WHO ARE FEARFUL.
--Turn to Matthew 14:27, Jesus said, "Be of good cheer! It is I, do not be afraid." Sometimes we are.
Do you ever have any fears? Concerns for tomorrow?
--Worries about the past or future? Most of us do.
--But Jesus says, "Be of good cheer; be not afraid."
Jesus had just fed five thousand men with a lad's lunch; with all well-fed - 12 "baskets left over."
--Then He "went up on the mount, to pray."
--His Apostles had been sent home, in a boat.
--On the Sea of Galilee, in the middle of the night, and the middle of a storm, Jesus came to help.
--Jesus knew; He "went to them, walking on the sea."
--Imagine, walking on water, as though dry land!
--The disciples seeing Jesus, there, were "afraid."
--Like most of us, "they cried out for fear" (v 26).
What a picture of many in our day - in life's storms.
--Uncertain. Afraid, both of the present or future.
--Let Jesus draw alongside you, speak, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Follow Him.
--If God can make storm-tossed waves a solid sidewalk - and calm the seas by His Word - He can calm our fears.
--But we have to call on Him. Follow His leading.
--His ways are always the best ways to joy and peace.
Some fear is good, and purposeful; even protective.
--God's Word says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). "Fear God."
--That is, "fear God," we need fear nothing else.
--So let's serve God and be cheerful - not fearful.
--For with our Lord so near, what have we to fear?
--The Lord never promised a rose garden without thorns>
--Nor a life without hardships .. free of ill or evil.
--What He does promise if we obey, is His best here.
--This may be contrary to what some may preach - of a name it, claim it religion without any ills.
--What Jesus promises is His presence! Provisions!
--His peace, pardon and power. To do all things well.
--I have found there is no disappointment in Jesus!
--If He cares for little birds, why should we fear?
III. GOD BRINGS GOOD CHEER FOR ALL THE DOUBTFUL.
--Good cheer to sinful, fearful, and to the doubtful.
--Sometimes we may have doubts - our health, economy, our job, world conditions, the future - even God.
--Open to John 16:33, Jesus said, "In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (or doubts); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Jesus has! Though crucified, He arose!
--Jesus lives! Conquering doubts, the devil, death!
--Giving many proofs. Leaving for us no doubts!
So all of us have a choice - doubt and go along with a lost and dying world, or believe and obey the Lord.
--As for me, I put my faith and life in Jesus.
There's a bit of "doubting Thomas" in us all, but the proof we need is in the Lord of life and His Word.
Jesus has been right on all He said and did, the prophets predicted. It was attested, to be assured.
--God is not going to lie or deceive those God loves.
--Before multitudes Jesus lived, worked miracles, did die, and showed Himself alive again 40 days, before ascending to heaven "before their eyes."
--He saves sinners. Keeps them. Satisfies them.
--He has for millions. For me. How about you?
I am amazed at the faith of our astronauts in space.
--Remember July 20, 1969, as Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon, and Neil Armstrong broadcast, "That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind." And, indeed, a great achievement.
--Do you know what his colleague, Buzz Aldrin, did?
--On the moon, they had communion, the Lord's Supper.
--"Born again," his church had prepared it for them.
--In faith and thanksgiving, remembering the Lord!
--His message back on earth, was that we give thanks for the blessings of the Lord! Let's not forget.
May I ask where your own assurance and hope, are?
--In our kind of world, we need an anchor of faith.
--That gives a blessed hope, and brings good cheer.
We've all seen ball teams going down in likely defeat.
--But the fans were hopeful. Kept cheering them on.
--With such cheers and enthusiasm the team changed!
--Got inspired, out of doubts and dumps, to victory!
--That's what Jesus did in a dark, dreary time.
--"In the world tribulation .. in Me, peace .. be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
The wonderful miracle, Jesus can still do it, in us!
Transformed the life of the Apostle Paul, from a destroyer of Christians and churches, to a disciple!
--He went all over his world telling the good news!
--Winning multitudes. Changing lives, like ours.
--Starting churches. Writing thirteen Bible Letters.
--Even in prison, writing of the joy of Jesus!
Why these "good cheers" of Jesus? We need them.
--So we may be blessed. So we may bless others.
--"Be born again," simply means turn from our sin to the Savior, Jesus our Lord. Just repent and trust.
--The Holy Spirit, in the Word, will teach us all.
--Share His "cheer."
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 199