Day 8

Jesus Restores and Forgives

from the reading plan

Matthew 9:1-38, Psalm 51:17, Romans 5:1-5

My son has an undergraduate degree in cinema, so he doesn’t just watch movies. He critiques them from every possible angle. He analyzes characters and scenes. He listens for gaps in the dialogue and looks for holes in the plot.

He tells me that most—if not all—movies are built on something called “the hero’s journey.” In a nutshell, the narrative has to explain how a character recognizes a problem, accepts (often reluctantly) a challenge to solve the problem, and overcomes a variety of obstacles to eventually eliminate the problem. According to him, what separates good movies from mediocre ones is the ability to bring the hero’s journey to life. The storyline has to convince the audience that the problem is just too big to overcome—and then provide an unexpected solution. That’s not an easy thing to do, but if it’s done well, the film will hit the mark and leave a lasting impression on the people who see it.

While I don’t know much about creating movies, that makes sense to me. We all love a good plot twist that flips the script and pushes the hero across the finish line. We appreciate when something unexpected changes the course of the story for the better.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus was consistently flipping scripts in a way that changed people’s lives forever. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the healing miracles of Matthew 9.

As a father, it’s not a stretch to imagine the fear and desperation of a man whose daughter is fighting for her life (Matthew 9:18–19). For all his position and influence as a community leader, he was a man in need of a miracle, and Jesus responded by restoring his little girl (vv.23–26). Others laughed and scoffed, but Jesus made all the difference.

That father’s desperation was matched by the perseverance of a woman who’d been suffering for more than a decade. Along with freedom from a twelve-year illness, Jesus transformed her story by also forgiving her sins (vv.20–22).

Finally, two blind men with nothing to lose took the chance of a lifetime (vv.27–31). Like the leader and the sick woman, their complete dependence on Jesus changed the course of their lives forever. Jesus wrote a new ending for their narrative: “Their eyes were opened” (v.30).

Thankfully, Jesus is still in the business of creating amazing plot twists. The power of the One who raised a girl, healed a woman, and gave sight to two blind men is still flipping scripts for people today. He still restores our broken situations, and He still forgives us when we think we’ve gone too far.

You may have a scene in your story that needs His touch today. Let Jesus flip your script and give you an ending that you never could have imagined.

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