Today’s Scripture: Matthew 9:2-13

4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Why this gossipy whispering?" (The Message)

Aside: I find it rather ironic that I’m writing about this passage which is entitled “Who Needs a Doctor” in the Message translation. (I had surgery on my knee yesterday.)

We all have been the subject of gossipy whispering (and not just when we were in middle and high school). People want to put us down, people want to exert their power over us, people want to be funny – there are many reasons why people gossip.

Artwork by West Kellett

Artwork by West Kellett
“And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’” ~ Matthew 9:2

People were always gossiping about Jesus – he healed on the Sabbath, he forgave sins, he was cozy with crooks and riffraff, he dared to touch those with leprosy, he spoke to women who were shunned by the people of his day.

With all those people speaking ill of him, how did Jesus keep it together? Sure, I know he is the Son of God, but if we are to believe that he was 100% human, then how did his humanness deal with the ugliness of humanity?

How can we keep it together? As all of us have been the subject of someone’s gossip at some point in time in our lives; it’s not pleasant. To hear second or third hand that others are talking about you, sometimes sharing half-truths and even outright lies, it hurts. How many times I have sat with teenagers who have been the subject of rumors and innuendos? How shall we respond? It would be easy to respond with physical violence or our own gossipy whispering, though as people of faith, we should find a different way.

As we enter this time of Lent, a time to put aside all that hinders our relationship with God, may we discipline ourselves so that we hear God’s life-giving voice and, in turn, live our lives in ways that bring life to all of God’s children.