Home Chapel Content - December 2015

Going for the jugular
Text:  Matthew 9:1-13
Memory Verse: Matthew 9: 2 (TLB)  ‘Soon some men brought him a paralyzed man on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick man, Cheer up, son! For I have forgiven your sins!
What is going for the jugular? Firstly, let us get to grips with the definition of the jugular vein after which this expression is patterned. The jugular vein is the main vein, the life sustaining artery in our body. It is a large vein in the neck that takes blood from the head to the heart. To strike the jugular vein is to deliver a mortal blow. Here, the jugular vein concept applies to dealing with the root of a problem or of all problems which is SIN! Sin is what Jesus is really gunning for, issues of health, wealth and comfort are simply symptoms of our collective disease.
Our origin
If you are a Christian, it is important for you to know your origin...where you have come from. As the saying goes, Knowing history gives you wisdom for the future. This is very true, and it is concerning that many Christians tend to forget that the main reason for chaos in the whole world and our personal lives is sin. We have a tendency to blame God for these problems when in actual fact these problems stem from sin. It is important that we remember to apply the solution to sin constantly in the dailyness of our lives.
Case Study – Jesus heals a paralytic man
Jesus mission is the forgiveness of sins. As we see with Matthew the tax collector, Jesus has come for sinners who recognise their need for a saviour. Let us see how Jesus addressed this mans problem by prioritising first things first.
First step – Jesus makes an unusual proclamation over the paralytic, forgiving his sins instead of healing him first. 
The reaction - This horrifies the religious leaders present  surely only God can forgive sins! They said who on earth, why did Jesus forgive the sin before dealing with his physical ailment?
Next step - Jesus vindicates His proclamation by miraculously healing the man.
Lessons learned  
Jesus is not focused on the symptom: poverty, sickness, injustice for the here and now. 
Jesus identifies the true root of the malaise of mankind. Sickness and suffering are mere symptoms of our true disease  sin! He forgives the sin first and deals with the symptoms.
Jesus does not merely whitewash the rot, like the Pharisees do, but forgives sin and deals with heart of the problem. By forgiving the mans sins, Jesus wants to demonstrate what the root of the problem in the world is today  sin!
The Pharisees believed that all personal sufferings came as a result of our personal sins(karma  the idea that you reap what you sow). The concept of Karma does not reflect the whole truth of the matter. In that sense, it greatly contradicts or contrasts with the teachings of Jesus. Many times, our own suffering is not necessarily the result of our personal sin. Jesus proved this when he healed the blind man thought to be blind as a result of either his sins or his parents sins  John 9. Verse 3 says Neither, Jesus answered. But to demonstrate the power of God.
Gods salvation and forgiveness are instant, complete and irreversible. God always goes for the jugular! He went for the jugular when he sent his own son. He confronts sin in our lives. Without Jesus death and resurrection, his moral teachings means nothing.
The confidence for the power of this forgiveness lies in Jesus, our Lord and not in our actions or thoughts. Jesus mission is the forgiveness of sins. Not surprising! Thats why he came. Matthew 1:21(TLB) ‘And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning Saviour), for he will save his people from their sins.’
How does forgiveness of sins work?
You will notice that when Jesus forgave the paralytic man, his sins were wiped away and he was declared righteous in an instant.
Justification is a declaration that in Gods sight, you are declared righteous. It is giving you a status. Here, God has credited Christs righteousness to you.
Salvation and the forgiveness of sins is something instant. Having said that, salvation is spoken about in the past, present and future tense in the bible. Discuss.
You ask  would Jesus forgive me again and again after messing up?’ Answer - Jesus mission was to come and save his people from their sins. You know the popular saying Owe dollar? Pay dollar!, this is in recognition of the fact that we have sinned against God and we need his forgiveness through Jesus who has fully paid for our sins. Those who recognise that they are in need of a saviour will receive forgiveness paid through the death of Jesus on the cross. However, this is not a licence for us to keep messing up.
God does not just exist to make us happy and have a comfortable life, he has primarily come to save us from our sins.
We tend to love the Jesus who forgives sins but not the Jesus who disciples and makes us more like him.
To have our sins forgiven is to have you follow Jesus. He will sanctify us and make us more and more like him. Remember, the early Christians? They were actually called Christians because they look and behave like Jesus.
Following Jesus is not just an insurance plan for eternity. It must work out in our here and now and change our lives into conformity with Jesus reality.
Our prayer should be God, take my life, mold me and transform me to follow after you.
God goes for the jugular and makes us confront our sins, doubt and unbelief.
We should respond by equally going for the jugular to live for him. 

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