Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Luke 5:21-26

Luke 5:21-26
And the scribes and Pharisees began to reason together while saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemy?  Who is powerful enough to forgive sins except God only?”  And while Jesus recognized their reasoning, while answering, He said to them, “What are you all reasoning in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven to you” or to say, “Get up and walk around?  But in order that you all should have seen that the Son of Man has authority upon the earth to forgive sins,” He spoke to the one who has been enfeebled, “I say to you, get up! And after rising up from your couch walk into your house.”  And immediately after rising up in their presence, after lifting the thing upon which he was laying, he left into his house while glorifying God.  Then astonishment took hold over all and they glorified God and they were being filled with fear while saying that, “We saw incredible things today.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

There are two common reactions to being in the presence of the unfamiliar.  We are either inclined to investigate or we are inclined to be a skeptic.  I’m not entirely sure that either is always right or either is always bad.  Rather, I think it is good to recognize that human beings can be in either camp.  In this case, we see both camps.  Certainly there are the ones who desire to investigate.  These are the ones who are bringing the sick and otherwise filled with malady to Jesus.  They are curious as to what Jesus can or will do.  But then there are the Pharisees and scribes.  They are predisposed to be skeptical.  In this situation, we certainly know which is better and which is worse.  When God is acting, it is always best to be curious and willing to learn more rather than being skeptical.

Have you ever been skeptical at a time when God was trying to work within you?  Have you ever been curious when it would have been better to be skeptical?  How can you discern when you should take either position?

Second Thought:

Jesus uses a really interesting argument here.  In one of the rare instances of this in the Gospels, Jesus lowers Himself to human logic.  Jesus asks the gathered crowd, “Which is easier, to forgive sins or to cause a man to get up and walk?”  Of course from the divine perspective we know that forgiveness is the harder of the tasks.  In order for us to be forgiven, God must do all the work for us.  God must send His Son to earth in human form to accomplish forgiveness!  However, from our human perspective we would say that causing a man to walk who was formerly unable to do so is the harder task.  We forgive one another all the time.  But who among us can cause a person to get up and walk?  Jesus knows we would consider physical healing more difficult that accomplishing genuine forgiveness.  So Jesus heals them man, lowering Himself into an act submitted to human logic.  Jesus proves His power while also proving His willingness to be our servant and come to our level of thinking.

Do you ever undervalue forgiveness?  Do you ever consider physical manifestations of miraculous works more difficult than true forgiveness?  What does it mean to you that Jesus is willing to come down to our level of understanding so that He makes sense to us?

Third Thought:

Once more the Bible drives home an important teaching.  When God acts, God is praised.  What is the result of the man’s healing?  He gives glory to God.  What does the crowd do when the man is healed?  The crowd gives glory to God.  It’s that simple.  Things happen for the glory of God.

Are you content if God gets the glory?  Do you ever desire to have some of the glory?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 5:27-32
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