Monday, March 28, 2016

Luke 5:17-20

Luke 5:17-20
And it became in one of those days that He was also teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were being seated.  They were coming out of all the villages of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem.  And the power of the Lord to heal was in Him.  And behold!  Men, having a man who was enfeebled upon a couch, were seeking to bring him and to set him in His presence.  And after not finding any manner that they should bring him through the crowd, after ascending up the building, they let him down through the earthen roof upon the couch into the middle of the crowd in the presence of Jesus.  And seeing their faith, He said, “Man, your sins have been forgiven to you.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I think that it is neat to see Jesus blending spiritual skills as they are needed.  Jesus starts out as a teacher.  Then he quickly transitions to a healer as the situation shifts.  He even becomes a bit of a pastor and maybe even an evangelist as he proclaims grace and forgiveness.  Jesus can pour out each of these individual tasks because His identity is in the Father.  Because Jesus has His identity in the Father, he can accomplish all that the Father has for Him to do.

Can you transition in skills as your circumstances change?  What spiritual tasks can you do most comfortably?  Which are the ones that would be less comfortable?

Second Thought:

It is good to have good friends.  It is even better to have friends who stick with you even when the going gets rough.  Think about these friends of this feeble man.  They could have easily given up.  They could have seen the crowd and made excuses as to why to stop.  They could have considered it an impossible task.  They could have looked at their feeble friend, told him that it couldn’t be done, and gone on with their life.  What would it have been to them?  But they don’t do this.  This man’s friends find a way to get the task done.  They go the extra mile for their friend.  These friends are true servants.

Do you have friends in your life who are willing to sacrifice for you?  What lengths are you willing to go for a friend when you truly do not have anything at stake?

Third Thought:

There is always a great debate about Jesus’ words in this passage.  The debate greatly amuses me.  People ask, “Wait, did Jesus forgive the sins of this man based on the faithfulness of other people?”  In other words, “Can my faithfulness save other people?”  People who ask this question can be greatly appeased by looking at the verb tense in Jesus’ expression.  Jesus says, “Your sins have been forgiven to you.”  The verb tense is perfect passive.  In other words, the man has been living in a state of forgiveness in the past, that state of forgiveness continues into the present, and it is expected to continue into the future.  The point that Jesus is making here is that the man’s forgiveness isn’t happening because of anyone’s faithfulness!  The man’s forgiveness is happening because God has grace.  None of us are forgiven because of faithfulness.  Our righteousness is never enough!  We are all forgiven because God has grace.  That grace started well before we came into existence and it will last well after each of us are no longer around.

Have your sins been forgiven?  Why?  What does God’s grace mean to you?  What does the eternal nature of God’s grace mean to you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 5:21-26
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