WHATEVER IT TAKES
8 October 2013 |
WHATEVER IT TAKES
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 5:12-16
New Living Translation (NLT)
*Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man*
*17 *One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of
religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up
from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from
Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.
*18 *Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They
tried to take him inside to Jesus, *19 *but they couldn’t reach him
because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some
tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd,
right in front of Jesus. *20 *Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the
man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
*21 *But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to
themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God
can forgive sins!”
*22 *Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do
you question this in your hearts? *23 *Is it easier to say ‘Your
sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? *24 *So I will prove
to you that the Son of Man*[*
*]* has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned
to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go
*25 *And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked
up his mat, and went home praising God. *26 *Everyone was gripped with
great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have
seen amazing things today!”
I must confess that I find this to be one of the most challenging,
convicting scriptures in the Bible. Imagine the scenario: Jesus’
teaching was so powerful and profound that wherever he went a large
crowd gathered. This particular day, the crowd was so large that a
group of what we can only assume were friends, bring a paralyzed man
(again, likely a friend) to Jesus but can’t get to him – there were
too many people.
Instead of turning round and deciding to try another day, the do what
must have seemed completely reasonable to them: took tiles off the
roof and lowered their friend to the feet of Jesus.
This passage makes it seem so easy – that they simply got onto the
roof, took off tiles and lowered a man. But practically, this would
have been a little more complicated that we may think initially.
Remember, they were carrying a man that could not help himself – dead
weight, if we’re honest – and had to lower him safely.
I would have come back the next day.
But these men did not. They were so persistent, and they had such
great faith in Jesus’ ability to change their friends life that they
did whatever it took to get him to the feet of Jesus.
A CALL TO ACTION
What are you willing to do to get your friends to the feet of Jesus?
For most of us, praying is as far as we go. We pray for them. Others,
slightly more bold, may invite their friends to join them for a
service at church. Few do more than that. Which begs the question:
‘how serious are we about our friends’ salvation and spiritual
Today, take time to answer that question for yourself, honestly. And
then, do what it takes to start the journey of bringing your unsaved
or hurting friends before the feet of Jesus.
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Jesus I know that you are the solution to every difficulty, heartache
and problem in this life. Please help me to be bold as I pursue my
friends with love so that I can bring them to you. Help me to be
creative in the way that I reach out to them. Amen.
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