Thursday: 5th July, 2018
Reference text: Matthew 9:1-8
Matthew 9:5 For which is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
In the run up to the round of sixteen in the world cup, the final group game between England and Belgium was more than just about topping the group, but also the chance to be on a better side of the draw if one ended up as runners up. To many, the team should be good enough to beat anybody, but barring any unforseen events, many English fans will prefer a date with Sweden than with Brazil.
If we take the words of Jesus in the very literal sense in which they are spoken, it is as though Jesus is advocating for ‘the easy way of doing things’; But make no mistake: the easier way He mentions, has nothing in common with the wrong or inappropriate way.
In many contexts and settings, people who opt to take the ‘easier’ option are deemed lazy and risk averse – too cornered by fear to embrace an alternative route to their destination. If we consider a prize sitting within the walls of a city, making the decision to scale a 20-foot high wall, as opposed to passing through an unmanned 2- foot wide gate because people will think you did not ‘struggle enough’ to get the prize is not reason enough to opt for the harder way.
Many may misunderstanding this imagery and end up comparing the ‘easier way’ mentioned today, to the parable of the narrow and wide path spoken by Jesus. Consequently, the comparison of these two images cause many of us to opt for harder approaches which otherwise could and should be avoided. For Jesus, letting this man know that He was forgiven, was more important than letting him know He could walk.
Therefore, finding the easier way is not about finding the wrong way, but while staying true to what is good, opting for the most effective way and not necessarily the hardest.
Remember # the best way forward, must not necessarily be the path with most resistance.