SCRIPTURE: Luke 5:12-26
1. “When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him” – Desperation, the key to seeking the Lord.
2. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” – If only He was always willing when we asked Him. The issue is not whether He is able, but whether He is willing. Many people pleas with the Lord in desperation, saying what this man says. But Jesus does not say back “I am willing, be clean!” He has His reasons, and we are to be surrendered to Him and to His purpose. But oh to hear these words, “I am willing, be clean!”
3. “Don’t tell anyone…” Again, keeping it quiet to protect Himself from being hindered by the crowds, and from their misunderstanding of His mission.
4. “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them” – Jesus comes to fulfill the Law of Moses. At this point He is still “under the Law”, and so He tells the man to honour what the Law commands (Leviticus 14:2-32). This does not make this Law universal and applicable for new covenant believers, it just shows that Jesus recognized His timing in the unfolding plan of God. This is the same for what He says about tithing. He endorses it as an old covenant command, but after His resurrection it is no longer commanded.
5. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed… The power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” – I see a connection between His close relationship with the Lord and the anointing on His life. Often we lack the power of the Lord because we are not present for the Lord.
7. “They went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus” – It takes a lot of nerve to put a hole in a neighbour’s roof, they must have been very loving and determined for their friend!!!
8. “When Jesus saw their faith” – Note that it is not the faith of the paralyzed man, but of his friends. The Lord honours the faith of friends who bring a loved one before the Lord. This ought to encourage us when we pray for those that we love.
9. “Who can forgive sins but God alone… the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – Slowly Jesus is revealing to the people and the Jewish leaders that He is not just an ordinary Rabbi, He is the Son of God. This is a HUGE claim for Jesus to make, one that makes Him either the Lord, or a lunatic or a liar. It is the height of arrogance and blasphemy for Him to do what only God could do, namely forgive sins. Keep in mind, forgiveness in the old covenant was declared through the temple and the priests, so Jesus is challenging the whole Jewish system of religion, claiming to be greater than the temple, the Law, and the sacrifice.
Lord, grant me the faith and determination to seek You first, and to trust that You are Who You say You are, and to honour You with my whole heart and life! Amen.