Completely New

“Who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins, so that both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16,17 NLT

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He Came for Those Who Need Him

At Jesus’ call, Matthew had left his tax collectors’ booth to follow Jesus. Then, he threw a dinner party at his home, inviting Jesus and His disciples, along with a number of tax collectors and “disreputable sinners.” Seeing this, the Pharisees took some of Jesus’ disciples aside; “Why,” they demanded, “does your teacher eat with such scum?”

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Completely Healed

Jesus knew that the religious leaders were judging Him to be a blasphemer, because He had forgiven the sins of a paralyzed man in response to the faith of the friends who had carried him there. Addressing them directly, He asked “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up and went home. (from Matthew 9:4-7 NLT)

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God Walked Among Us

“Be encouraged, my child!” Jesus had said. “Your sins are forgiven.” The paralyzed man remained on his mat, with his friends nearby. In the silence that followed, the religious teachers began to scowl and mutter in disapproval. “That’s blasphemy!” they said to themselves; “Does He think He’s God?”

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Who Is This Man?

Jesus’ disciples looked around at the mirrored surface of the Sea of Galilee. A moment before, there had been utter chaos– howling winds, giant waves crashing into the boat, and their frenzied attempts to stay afloat. Jesus had been asleep in the back; despite the storm, they’d still had to wake Him up. As He awoke, He had chided them for their terror, their lack of faith; and, rising to His feet, He had ordered the storm to be still. The calm, the quiet, had come immediately.

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