Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
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|9:1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." 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,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? 6 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he then said to the paralytic -- "Rise, take up your bed and go home." 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.||
1 ΚΑΙ ἐμβὰς εἰς πλοῖον διεπέρασε καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν. 2 Καὶ ἰδοὺ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παραλυτικὸν ἐπὶ κλίνης βεβλημένον· καὶ ἰδὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν εἶπε τῷ παραλυτικῷ· θάρσει, τέκνον· ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου. 3 καὶ ἰδού τινες τῶν γραμματέων εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς· οὗτος βλασφημεῖ. 4 καὶ ἰδὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν εἶπεν· ἵνα τί ὑμεῖς ἐνθυμεῖσθε πονηρὰ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν; 5 τί γάρ ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν, ἀφέωνταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, ἢ εἰπεῖν, ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει; 6 ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας — τότε λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ· ἐγερθεὶς ἆρόν σου τὴν κλίνην καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου. 7 καὶ ἐγερθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ. 8 ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐθαύμασαν καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν τὸν δόντα ἐξουσίαν τοιαύτην τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.
Larger Thought Unit
Please read last week’s notes regarding Matthew 8-9 as the larger context for today’s reading which continues where last week’s reading ended.
Since there is one gospel for both Jews and Gentiles, as Paul insisted in his writings, after having brought the message of salvation to the Gentiles (Mt 8:28-34) Jesus crosses over to “his own city” and preaches the same to his kinsmen. However, the leaders of the Jews are critical and refuse to accept that a mere human being (son of man) would have authority to speak in God’s name without the approval of the “authorities” represented by the scribes who are authorities in God’s scriptures. Such was the fate of the “son of man” Ezekiel, whom the Lord assigned to carry his message, and yet said to him: “Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel--not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stubborn heart.” (Ezek 2:4-7)
David E. Garland, Reading Matthew, Crossroads Publishing Company, NY, NY, 1995; pp. 102ff.
Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.1: Paul and Mark, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1999; pp.146-48.
Paul Nadim Tarazi, New Testament Introduction, Vol.2: Luke and Acts, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2001; p.50.