The Joys of Jesus
For the next few Sundays, I will be doing a series of sermons on “JOY”. And this morning, we will begin with “The Joys of Jesus” that are found in Matthew 9. We see that beginning in verse 1, some men, in faith, carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed. That was the pressing need before them, the healing of their buddy.
But Jesus saw their faith and instead of healing their friend, He forgives his sins. You see, Jesus saw a bigger need. Something more important than walking…the need for salvation. The need for eternal life. Jesus knew that if his spiritual life is good his physical life will follow. That is still true for each of us today. I call this, His “Joy of Forgiveness.” The apostle Paul wrote: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15)
Now the religious leaders who were there questioned if Jesus had the authority to “forgive sins.” We read in verses 4-6: “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 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.”
Jesus is all about opening their eyes to power of the Son of Man. This was His “Joy of Enlightenment’”. He says in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.” These religious leaders were walking in the darkness of the Law and were blind to the true Messiah that stood before them.
Beginning in verse 18 we see where a ruler in the synagogue named Jarius came and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” Isn’t it just like us that in times of tragedy we turn to God…we seek His mercy. Well, Jesus sees Jarius’ faith and leaves for his home.
As Jesus goes, so does a mob of people. The tiny paths and streets were clogged with thousands of followers. As everyone was pushing and shoving just to be near Christ, a woman with a blood disease reached out and touched the hem of His garment. She believed that if she could just touch the tip of His robe…she would be healed. She too was seeking His mercy.
But when she touched Him, Jesus knew power had gone out of Him. He asked, “Who touched My clothes?” This confused His disciples because the crowd was shoulder to shoulder and all over Him. Once again, He asked, “Who touched Me?” She comes forward, afraid and trembling and confessed. But Jesus calmed her fears and said, “your faith has made you well.”
When Jesus arrives at Jarius’ house, He raises his daughter from the dead. Now to the world… she was dead…but not to Christ! In His mercy…she lives! I call this, His “Joy of Mercy.” Luke tells us to “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Now I must say that when Jesus enters Jarius’ home and says, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping” the mourners ridiculed Him. So, Jesus put all of the doubters outside. He didn’t have time for the ‘haters’ or the negative attitudes, He came there to save a child. Besides, His words would have fallen on deaf ears…they needed to see action. The Bible says, “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:6). I call this, His “Joy of Truth.”
As He was leaving, two blind men cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They replied, “Yes Lord”, so Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” Within minutes, He has raised the dead and caused the blind to see. One by mercy, the other by belief. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards who earnestly seek Him.” I call this, His “Joy of Belief”.
Then in verse 32, a man who was mute and demon possessed was brought to Jesus and He cast out the demon and the man spoke. Now the crowd was blown away! They have seen a paralyzed man get up and walk, a woman with a blood disease of 12 years healed, a little girl raised from the dead, two blind men healed, and a demon cast out. In verse 33, the people said, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
Those words are still true…the world has never seen anything like Jesus Christ! The Bible tells us that “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). This one was His “Joy of Miracles.” Now Jesus stays busy preaching and teaching and as usual huge crowds follow Him. The Savior takes compassion upon them. In verse 36 we read: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” This joy all believers know, this is one He uses a lot, His “Joy of Compassion.”
Compassion means to be “sympathetic to another person’s trouble or pain.” This world will tell you that showing compassion is a sign of weakness…but it’s just the opposite. It takes strength and courage to show compassion.
- Had Pharaoh’s daughter not shown compassion, baby Moses may have died.
- Had the Good Samaritan not stopped and help, the injured man on the road probably would have died.
- Had God not of taken compassion upon a sinful people…He would have never allowed His Son to die upon the cross.
Jesus knows what you’re going through, and He’s here for you. One ‘Joy” of His, is the “Joy of Cleansing”. A woman at a garage sale saw an antique copper kettle for only $2.50. It was badly tarnished, so she asked if the tarnish would come out. The owner offered to use some copper cleaner, so he took it into the house. Soon he returned with the shining kettle and handed it to the buyer. Not only was it nicer but it also had a new tag which read: “Like new-$10.”
At first, the owner was practically giving the kettle away…but something changed its worth. A simple cleansing. Almost everything IS more valuable once it has been cleansed. And that is true with us. Want to feel new again? Come to Jesus.