Today is Friday, August 18th 2017; thanks for joining us! This coming Sunday we dive into a 3 week series called “Center”, where we learn more of the dealings of Christ and how to center upon his presence. In today’s passage we witness that Jesus not only heals the body, but more importantly, heals the soul.  - Peter

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ The forgiveness we receive from Christ allows us to freely forgive others; who is one person God is calling you to forgive?
_ How is the Lord working in the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

As we open the Bible and look into the Word of God, we understand that we read a word that has been “breathed out” by Him who keeps and sustains the universe. So we find ourselves in the midst of all and complete Truth. From knowing this we expect to have life-altering changes, even in simplest form, which leads us to pray the following

Make the book live to me O’ Lord
Show me Thyself within Thy Word
Show me myself
And show me my savior
And make the book live to me O’ Lord

DISCOVER  [Matthew 9:1-8]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
9 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
_ What did Jesus forgive the paralytic’s sins in response to? (v. 2)
_ How did the Scribes respond to this? (v. 3)
_ How would you answer Jesus’ question in verse 5?
_ What sign did Jesus give to the pharisees to prove that he was given authority to forgive sins?
_ Jesus does not need the permission or approval of men to forgive sins. Why does he choose to offer this sign?
_ What was the crowd’s response?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond with a simple step of action?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Christ’s claim to have authority to forgive sins can be easy to accept in theory, but harder to put in practice. Have you ever, or do you currently, feel skeptical about Christ’s claim to have authority to forgive sin? Is there guilt for past sin that you continue to harbor?
_ Do you identify with the pharisees, the paralytic, or both? In what ways?
_ How does Jesus demonstrate his power to forgive sins in this passage? How have you seen the effects of forgiveness work out in your own life?

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus? (one on one or facilitating your own group), what is your next step, do you have the resources you need?