Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Luke 5:17-26, A Bible Study Devotion. “Break the roof; just get ‘um in…”

Luke 5:17-26, A Bible Study Devotion. “Break the roof; just get ‘um in…”

Read Luke 5:17-26

There are so many things to be learned from this story. This is just a small summary of one of them. It is important to note who Jesus’ audience is in this story. Verse 17 says that He was teaching Pharisees from every village from Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. In other words, it was filled with the preachers. This was a preacher conference; organized, planned out. So were the teachers there with humble hearts, trying to learn teaching from the master teacher? Let’s see…

Jesus is teaching these Pharisees in a house that is full to capacity. Along comes a paralyzed man. He cannot walk, but is being carried by his friends on a mat. They cannot get in, so they climb the roof, break through, and lower the man down in front of Jesus. Verse 20, Jesus saw their faith and said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Pretty good friends huh? They cared about their friend so much that they risked life, limb, and (today Law and lawyers..bleh). Do you have friends you care about? Do you have friends who need healing? What characteristics did these guys display when trying to get their friend to Jesus:

• Creativity: The door was not open. Their friend could not walk. They didn’t have “tickets.” But they still found a way in. They did not let this obstacle stop them from their mission to help a friend. There was a closed door, but God provided an open roof. If you can’t get your friends where they need to be one way, try another.

• Urgency: “It must not be God’s timing. I’ll bring them another day.” Ever say that? Ever invite someone to church in the hope and prayer that the gospel message gets to them somehow? These guys did not feel that tomorrow would work. They knew that the day of the Lord is upon us. (2 cor. 6:2) That does not mean you should literally drag your friends to church, but you might want to consider the urgency of their dire situation.

• Sacrifice: Your home is not a museum; it is a gift from God that should be used for God’s purpose. If someone can find Christ, is it worth some spilled coffee in your living room? Some broken kids toys in the basement? What is more important, your “stuff,” or the people you love finding a way to Jesus? (In this case it was someone else’s stuff…even better…)

• Persistence: Do you ask your friend once and then forget it? Do you not even ask once? These men did what it took to get their friend to Jesus.

This is the best part… So now here is the paralyzed man. He is lying before Jesus to get healed. All that effort finally pays off. This poor man, he has been suffering. Life gave him an unfortunate twist. So Jesus says, “I feel so sorry for you. You have been suffering and suffering. You deserve to be taken care of. You are special. How could anyone expect “normal” stuff from you?” …That’s not what Jesus said of course. He says, “Your sins are forgiven.” What? What about my legs? Jesus is teaching right now, pay attention. This man thought what needed healing, was not the main thing that needed healing. He was a sinner just like everyone else. What he needed most was forgiveness, just like you and just like your friends… Of course Jesus heals his legs too, but only after he addresses what is more important. We all have struggles in life. Things we must deal with. Things that we could use an excuse to not seek the cure for what really ails us. But whatever they are, it is no excuse for the state of your soul before God. You still need your sins forgiven above all else…

So were the teachers there with humble hearts trying to learn from the master teacher how to better serve God and their people? Did they see a paralyzed man trying to get to Jesus and quickly get out of the way? Did the crowd split like the sea because everyone could see how much this man wanted to get in? Or were they too important… After their “brother” was healed from sin and fate, did they all cheer and rejoice? This man’s sins were just forgiven. He entered a right relationship with God. Just what every preacher is working towards. Did they all shout Hallelujah! …No, they rumble and grumble and plot against Jesus, but that is for another day…

Written by Chris Vasecka

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