Matthew: Day 8

Jesus Forgives

by

Today's Text: Matthew 9:1-38, Numbers 19:11-21, Hosea 2:19-20

Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:1-38, Numbers 19:11-21, Hosea 2:19-20

I committed an embarrassing crime in my favorite pair of boots. With double-knotted laces and heels worn from hopscotch, those shoes supported me during some of my best moments, from resting on foot pedals during piano recitals to walking across the stage to accept awards for reading and attendance. They were impressive shoes for an equally impressive first grader, or so I thought.

And then one day, I stepped off the school bus and sat at the kitchen table to begin my homework. From here, the details get a little foggy. All I know is that a light-hearted family conversation escalated to a hearty quarrel when I stood up, angrily seeking my next victim. Without my brain’s permission, my foot swung backward to gain momentum and forward to meet a target. I kicked a hole in my parents’ couch—not a small one, either.

While my parents were certainly less than pleased, they soon realized this deed came with a built-in punishment. After the couch had to be moved down the stairs, out the door, and across town to be repaired, I would have to explain to any guests why we temporarily had no place for them to sit.

“Oh, the couch? I broke it.”

When I remember this story, I sometimes wonder if we’re all walking around with our own versions of kicked-in couches, whatever they may be, always aware of our brokenness.

My family? We’re struggling.
My job? It’s difficult.
My body? It’s hurting.
My heart? It’s suffering.
My circumstances? They’re unfair.

In Matthew 9, we find person after person in physical suffering, and yet, Jesus’ response to each one is very similar.

“Have courage, your sins are forgiven” (v. 2).
“Get up and walk” (v. 6).
“Have courage, your faith has saved you” (v. 22).
“Let it be done according to your faith” (v. 29).

Here, Jesus isn’t telling us to brush ourselves off from the hurt; He is showing us what it means to be whole again. It’s more than the healing of our bodies, our families, or any other shattered piece we may be holding. True healing can only be found through forgiveness, and ultimately, through Jesus’ broken body and shed blood. He knew that “it is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick… For [He] didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:12-13).


Jesus calls out a truth that maybe we’re too afraid or wrapped up in our circumstances to admit: Broken lives require faith. We may not know what to do with broken pieces and messy circumstances, but He certainly knows what to do with the bold faith of His children. Jesus uses the broken pieces to draw us to His wholeness.


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  • Lindsey Bailey

    It’s so true. Our brokenness. The gaps in our lives that make us not quite enough or worse yet, the holes we have inflicted upon others, all add up to one thing. Our need for Jesus is always multiplying. . At the end of the day, His mercy is more than enough. We are broken. We are messed up. We can’t walk. We can’t see. We can’t be in the midst of others and not mess something up eventually. So, we need mercy. Jesus’ supernatural healing to touch the inward condition of our hearts. Jesus, I give you authority over this day over my life. Jesus, I need your mercy.

  • Jesus you will save us from our sins. You will save my children from this broken world. I put my trust in you.

  • Marian Jones

    I won’t go into details, but the Lord has answered my written questions so specifically and lovingly through these texts today. Serious questions about the future. And I came away, just so full of joy at the freedom and security of being in His hands. Utter joy .

  • So so good today!!! I came to know Jesus at the most broken place in my life!

  • Chaney Shadrock

    Thank you, Jesus.

  • Alex Yearley

    This is often my response to those that question how I could believe in a Father that “allows” things like rape, murder, cancer, etc. into the world. Without all of these terrible things, we have no reason to seek and embrace the Lord. Things were never meant to be easy, they were meant to be a challenge of our dedication and our faith. And what a beautiful thing to navigate. I am so thankful for the broken pieces that the Lord can use to draw me closer to Him. ♥️

  • Broken lives require faith, thank you Jesus for restoring my soul, for keeping me strong, I want to look away from my weaknesses and look at You, my beautiful Savior! what a great reminder today! Amen!

  • Sara Moore

    It is so amazing that Jesus asks so little of us. We get so caught up in never being able to do enough, yet all he asks is faith and belief and then others should see it in us.

  • Lynne Palumbo

    Lynne P. My favorite reading….It just reminds me that I’m always overthinking what Jesus tells us. Jesus actually has made it so easy for us even after all that he sacrificed….ask and you will receive, Believe in me and all your prayers will be answered, you will be with me for eternity, it’s so simply. Jesus performed so many miracles for people who just trusted and believed in him. I think that’s exactly what Jesus wants from all of us, a drama free relationship, just trust and believe as he asks, and as he has shown through his miracles to those who just trusted and believed in him, no questions asked.

  • Rachel AnneDwyer

    Love the quote- Broken lives require faith… I certainly face the temptation when looking at my life and seeing my imperfections to do better, to try better. But no amount of doing or trying can add up to the gift of grace that Jesus gives me. As I look to him and accept his gift I know that I am being changed from glory to glory. I remind myself daily that I do not need to be perfect only present for Jesus to change me and to use me.

  • Skye Younger

    Asking for prayer. I am going through great emotional pain and struggling very much in my marriage. I want to be made Whole again.

    • Laura

      Praying for you Skye.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Skye, thank you for sharing. We are keeping you in our prayers today, for emotional healing and peace, and we’re so grateful to have you as a part of our community. – Abby, The SRT Team

  • ‘Broken lives require faith.’ What a simple and powerful statement! I’ve been struggling so much to feel confident in who I am as a mother, wife, and individual. I know my source is Christ’s Word, but my circumstances often feel louder, dragging me down on the road to ‘self betterment’. I loved reading about the woman in the crowd today. She was broken, but knew she only needed to touch the fringe of Jesus to be healed. But Jesus gave her so much more– He looked at her with love and spoke encouragement over her. Praying for the courage to stand firm in our faith as sisters today!

    • Akua-Sodio Flanagan

      Hi Sabrina,
      I’ve been struggling with the same things. Wanting to be a better, wife, mother, friend, follower of Christ,and my struggles with my feelings about my future in regards to my retirement from the military. So many thkughts, doubts and fear I want to really more on my faith. My faith in the Lord. Thank you for sharing

      Akua

  • Cindy Wright

    “Broken lives require faith.” I firmly believe this. And yet I find that in my current circumstances, this is probably much easier for me than others. Consider the person who doesn’t know when or where they will receive their next meal? The spouse who is abused. The person who has nowhere to sleep tonight in the cold. In these miracles in chapter 9, Jesus was healing a physical need each time. May I be aware of those in my life who are in need so that they may also be able to draw strength from Jesus through their faith.

  • Andrea Lopez

    “Jesus uses the broken pieces (of our lives) to draw us closer to wholeness.” Such previous words that I needed to hear today. Thank you!

  • Jennifer Ciarletta

    As I read this today and catch up on a few days I asked the Lord to clarify something to me. I’ve struggled with the notion of grace a lot this year because I think as Christians we bat that term around a lot without counting the costs. It’s weighty. It’s costly. And it does not come freely. I sin and I want grace. I see sin in the world and I’m told to extend grace ~ not to judge. But here’s the rub; sin has been committed – not against me but against the King of Kings. I’m a rule follower by nature. I like order. I can tend to be a perfectionist. Oftentimes that means I like accountability. That can come across as not being willing to offer grace. It’s not that; it’s just that the grace given me by Jesus cost Him His life. My sin is costly. Our faith requires more than Jesus giving me His unmerited favor ~ it requires me to reach for it with everything I have: To pursue Him with all of my strength even when I am at the end of myself: To know that my healing and wholeness only comes from Him. So as I offer grace, I’m praying for a glimpse of the Father’s love so that the receiver sees the real Giver of Grace. I pray that my need for checks and balances gives way to salt and light, to a love that cannot be mustered up no matter how hard I try, to a balance sheet that says “PAID-DEBT FREE AND CLEAR.” I pray that I walk in that freedom and not the shackles of perfectionism that I can never truly attain. More importantly, I pray I walk in the gratitude of that and can offer grace to others so they see Him and not me. Jesus, I need thee- every hour I need thee.

    • Jackie Price

      Your words are mine. I see myself in everything you wrote, including the needs. Amen!

    • Irina

      So wonderfully said and explained. It’s about me as well. Thank you!

    • Jen K

      So wonderfully said. I’ll add for me, that when grace is extended to me by friends, family, colleagues, and strangers, that I too recognize and thank “the real Giver of Grace,” and not just the human delivering the message. Thank you for the reminder!

  • Kristen Hembree

    Any Caedmon’s Call fans out there? This passage makes me think of their song “Love Alone”. Jesus, swing Your robe down low. ❤️

  • This reminds me of the song “Gracefully Broken”; we are all broken in some way but through the grace of Jesus Christ we are made whole again when we open our hearts to Him.

    This was a great reminder today that I need Jesus – there is no other way but through Him!

  • I love the thought that in our messiness- God is there telling us Have courage daughter your faith has saved you (Matthew 9:22). I take great comfort in knowing that God is still working on me. Makes me think of potter’s clay. Having faith in EVERY circumstance goes against the human nature but I know that I am in the hands of the One who made the very stars in the sky. I am reminded of another passage in Matthew where Jesus is teaching and He speaks of the birds of the air and how why do we worry when He takes care of the birds of the air.
    I am in awe of the fact that no matter what life brings us, we are in HIS hands. It is not us that are in control but Him alone. Just that alone makes everything better . “Lord let it not be our will but YOUR will be done in our lives”

  • Kelly Wilson

    Have courage daughter your faith has saved you (Matthew 9:22) -I will have childlike faith in EVERY circumstance no matter how bleak or difficult because I know my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has me in his hands. Your will Lord, your will.

  • I have felt so broken lately- as if there’s no hope for my heart and my sin. I am the one that Jesus sits with and says your faith has healed you. Jesus is always by my side and will continue to be there despite my sins. I pray Lord that you will heal my heart and forgive my sins! I run after you, seeking to touch you- knowing that you have the power to forgive my sins and make me New again. You are healer. You are mighty. And you see me as your child! Praise be to the God from whom all blessings flow!

  • “Let it be done according to your faith.” (v. 29) This part of the reading really made me stop and ponder. How is my faith? I think I might be in trouble sometimes, if God only works according to my faith. My mind immediately wanted to start a list – good/bad. But, I’m trying this year to learn to be still before God. So, I made myself stop and just listen. Christ is fully god. He can heal anyone and perform any wonder, whether the belief of the person is great or small. Christ isn’t asking me to believe in my ability to exercise unwavering faith. He is asking me to believe that He is able. My faith isn’t dependent on me – it’s all Jesus. Too many times I put my faith in my faith and not in the One who is faithful. My prayer today is that He will help me to believe that He is able.
    Be blessed, sisters!

    • Dee

      I love this … “Christ isn’t asking me to believe in my ability to exercise unwavering faith. He is asking me to believe that He is able. My faith isn’t dependent on me – it’s all Jesus.” Thanks Kathy xo

    • Deborah Ward

      I needed to hear this today Kathy!!! “My faith isn’t dependent on me—-its all Jesus”!! Thank you! I am obviously a few days behind in my study, but trying to catch up.

  • Linda Garrison

    The woman with the issue of blood: ladies can you imagine bleeding for a dozen years? And being considered ceremonially unclean all that time? This woman must have been weak as a kitten, so very lonely and just plain desperate. I thrill at her audacity to come out in public and to persistently pursue Jesus. She was literally putting her life on the line. That crowd, ginned up by the legalists, could just as well turned around and stoned her to death. But God. The hem of Jesus’ garment. WOW. What faith. What trust.

  • Kasey Summers

    “Jesus uses the broken pieces to draw us to His wholeness.” In my brokenness I can see His wholeness, His goodness, His love more fully. In my weakness I am strong because He is inside of me. Relying on the Holy Spirit this morning to do all I need to do and todo it with His eternal lenses on.

  • Sin is heavy and destructive. It drains us like disease and handicaps us like injury, Jesus knew this. He knew that fixing our temporary bodies wasn’t the most essential piece but He also showed great mercy in granting healing. There is no perfect health without Him. We are dead and unclean in our existence without His cleansing, without His mercy on us. Christ brings wholeness, relationship with Him heals!

  • I pray today that I would have crazy strong faith. These lines stand out to me from Matthew 9:28
    “Do you believe that I can do this?”
    “Yes, Lord.”
    “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

  • Taylor Dorholt

    One of my favorite miracles of Jesus’ is the bleeding woman who reaches out and touches Jesus’ robe in faith. And his reply to knowing she just touched him is “daughter, your faith has saved you.” I picture a ravenous crowd, all attempting to get a glimpse or talk to this Jesus, and this suffering woman knew if she could just get close enough… The image of her reaching through the madness and the crowd is my own tangible picture of what faith and loyalty to Jesus looks like and feels like. Life can be chaos but in that chaos Jesus sees you, he knows you, he wants you, and he loves you. All I need to do is reach out my unworthy, unclean hands and be touched by Him.

    • Sarah

      What a beautiful sentiment. Amen!

    • Kristine Loughman

      Your comment made me also picture that ravenous crowd. This woman had no sit down scheduled with Jesus, no face-to-face, no official appointment. She was probably counting herself lucky just to get a glimpse of his robes in between the pressing bodies of the crowd. She probably reached out, misssed, had to wait for another gap to snake her hand through, fingers straining for the brush of fabric… Sometimes I feel like I too am just blindly reaching out, hoping for even just a fingertip hold on Jesus. It feels like the crowd (of obligations, distractions, kid chaos, day to day busyness) is pressing down and I can barely glimpse that holy light in the gaps. What joy to know that Jesus will be there.

      • Joyjoy

        Wow. ^^
        “Sometimes I feel like I too am just blindly reaching out, hoping for even just a fingertip hold on Jesus. It feels like the crowd (of obligations, distractions, kid chaos, day to day busyness) is pressing down and I can barely glimpse that holy light in the gaps.“
        Just wow. Tears.

      • Elisa

        Thank you for this! Love this!!

    • Danielle

      I love this imagery and can definitely relate.. thanks for sharing!

    • Shannon

      Love the picture you described! Today’s world is so chaotic. We just need to remember to reach out in faith to Him.

    • Deborah O'Neill

      Beautiful word picture from both of you ladies! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      Yet another example of “I know that story!”, but seeing it in a new light and pondering the depth of the image.

  • How come repentance isn’t mentioned once in this piece? Jesus does make us whole and forgives but we must repent. He also said go and sin no more. Not once did you mention the little girl saying she is sorry. Correct me if I’m wrong but I have found that a being forgiven has to do with being repentant.

    • Terri

      Jesus knows the heart. They are already humble and seeking.

    • Christine Schofield

      I’m not taking away from the importance of repentance, but in today’s reading from Matthew 9, when Jesus forgives these sins, it is without mention of their repentance. In this passage, it was a response to faith.

    • Alisa

      Scripture tells us that Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness. When our belief and trust turns to Jesus and we acknowledge Him as our help and hope, He sees our hearts and can meet our needs, heal our brokenness and restore us to wholeness. Once that takes place in our lives we are so humbled and grateful that following Jesus the rest of our days is the fruit of repentance. We of course will not be perfect and I’m sure those in these accounts were not either, but I’d be willing to guess that their encounter with Jesus transformed them into a new person with a new heart fully devoted to sinning no more.

    • Courtney J.

      His forgiveness is a free gift, just because He wants to. It not based on our repentance. Our repentance is the result of our forgiveness, not a requirement for it.

  • Stephanie Dietrich

    Great reading today! I was helpless today trying to free myself from the struggle.. so good to know that his power is made perfect in my weakness!
    Thank you so much! Cheers from Switzerland!

  • Hannah Zeller

    Thank you for the reminder that Jesus isn’t just telling us to brush ourselves up and move on. I have spent many years trying to live that way until I couldn’t any more. I need to be reminded pretty often that the Lord cares about our sorrow and suffering and gives us hope that He will heal all things.

  • Grateful that my “broken” life, my circumstances, can be made whole through faith in Christ. Blessings on this Monday morning to my SRT sisters!

  • I pray to be a harvester and tend to the brokenness around me. I’m so easily sidetracked by things that don’t matter or that don’t lay up treasure in heaven. I need to seek Him first and His righteousness.

  • Churchmouse

    Brokenness can occur not of our own doing. There is not always cause and effect. But sometimes brokenness occurs because it IS of my own doing . My choices, my behavior, my attitude can be the source of a broken me. I seek forgiveness from God and the others affected but I also need to remember to forgive myself. I remain broken when I hold on to guilt despite repentance and restitution. I chain myself when He has declared me free. May I see myself as He sees me – unbound. May I no longer be “distressed and dejected.” May my eyes be opened. May I rise up and walk. May I be “awestruck and give glory to God.”

    • anne jones

      Amen Churchmouse, thank you for your insight.

    • Susan

      Your words struck me this morning as forgiving myself for brokenness caused by my own stupid choices is something I have not yet come to grips with. I know He forgives and others too, but I still battle with my own guilt of the “whys” and “what ifs” and other things. Thank you for your words and I too pray that I see myself as He sees me – unbound.

    • K

      Yes!! I needed this.

  • Kicked a whole in the wall about 4 years ago- it was the first time as an adult that I really lost my temper…it was one of those things that I was so ashamed of but it took the ugliness of my action to realize the depth of my need for a Savior.

  • My husband and I seem to be dealing with the same “kicked in couch,” our jobs… they are difficult. Each day, over the past 3 or so years, God has given us the courage to get up and walk out the door each day, but there are times it has been quite difficult. I am a firm believer that God uses these broken places, these trying times to grow our faith, increase our opportunities to share and use the circumstances to “draw us to His wholeness.” While the days can seem endless, the tasks tiresome and the way unclear at times. I believe God has been teaching both my husband and I to use the broken and turn our misery into His ministry. My prayer is that in 2018 we will both find a little bit more courage to pursue healing, find and express forgiveness where necessary and have the faith to quit being wrapped up in our story and become HIS story!

  • Tricia Cavanaugh

    I am struggling to see the connection between the passage in Matthew and then the passages in Numbers and Hosea.

    • Calle Demeter

      In short, I️ interpret as when Jesus came down to Earth, no longer did we remain unclean for 7 days. We are made clean in Him.

    • Bessie

      I was too, and did some reading. Jesus was quoting Hosea 6:6 where Hosea said, “For I desire mercy not sacrifice and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt sacrifices”. My thought is that Jesus was trying to tell them that He was coming with a new way. Patching old garments with unshrunken cloth or putting new wine into old wine skins doesn’t work. Neither does it work for us to sacrifice animals when the Son of God has come to sacrifice Himself. He was trying to tell them/us that He was coming with a new way. I believe that He was quoting Hosea to make His point and those listening would have know the scripture reference. I’m not sure why they qouted a different passage from Hosea, but it encouraged me to dig deeper into the scripture which is always good.

    • Kristen

      I was thinking Numbers was showing what was required to be cleansed before Jesus. In Hosea, we get to be righteous and receive God’s love and mercy because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. He came and healed so many while He was here, and now we don’t have to through those rituals. He healed them right there or as they picked up and went. We have the such hope because of Jesus.

    • Allison

      Me too. Like they were just on the list for something extra to read. Not that all scripture doesn’t have a purpose, but these certainly don’t seem to connect for me either.

    • Taylor Heston

      Numbers talks about how according to the law you were unclean if you touched a dead body, yet Jesus willingly did in Matthew. Then when Jesus talks about fasting He refers himself to the Bridegroom which ties in the Hosea passage

    • Jo Gistand

      I also had the same struggle. I think it’s the contrast between law and grace. All these practices were in place before Jesus came to the earth and wiped away all sin. So, we are no longer bound by the laws in the same way. Jesus doesn’t require us to be “Pharisees”, but rather people of faith, and obedient to the law through faith in him. Correct me if I’m wrong though! Happy Monday!!!

    • Carrie Doss

      I think it also ties into Matthew 9:13 – I desire mercy and not sacrifice. Before they could make themselves clean in the Old Testament, they had to make a sacrifice and use its ashes as part of the cleansing ritual which is the Numbers passage. Jesus was telling people that coming to Him was no longer a lengthy drawn out process of waiting and hoping that you cleaned yourself well enough to be considered good enough to come into the temple. In Matthew, Jesus is stating that he desires mercy (Hosea 6:6) and not sacrifice. We no longer have to go through the ritual of sacrifice and preparing ourselves. We are made clean because of His mercy in our lives and we should extend that same mercy to others.

    • Alyssa Hammond

      In Matthew 9:24-26, Jesus touches the deceased woman and raises her from the dead. The verses from Numbers offer context from the OT that touching a dead body (specifically before Jesus) was considered an unclean act. However, when Jesus touches her, he brings her to life and transforms the uncleanness into purity. This is symbolic in many ways. First, her resurrection anticipates Jesus’ coming death and resurrection. Second, when Jesus brings this woman back to life and transforms the unclean into something pure, this anticipates the forgiveness, transformation, and new life given to Christians based on the finished work of Jesus. And finally, it anticipates the fulfillment of the law. The rituals described in Numbers become unnecessary in light of the grace and mercy that is extended to Christians through the finished work of Jesus.
      The Hosea verses are probably in reference to Jesus’s remarks about the “bridegroom” in Matthew 9:15. The book of Hosea parallels the real-life marriage of Hosea and Gomer to the marriage of God and the Church. The Hosea verses are a reminder of God’s love for us and his promises to us. Remember, in Jesus’s time as in Hosea’s betrothal always came with a price. The bridegroom had to pay a price for his bride, just like Jesus paid the price for us.

  • Elyse Shedal

    May God give us eyes to see the brokenness around us. Our brokenness, our family and friends, those we come in contact with and may He give us the courage and faith to accept and share His healing and forgiveness.

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