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Healing the Paralytic: Luke 5.17-26

Jesus came to this world and met us right where we are.  He died on the cross for us to restore us to the Father.  We are to remember God loves us, cares for us and wants to make us whole.  Today we celebrated this in baptism.  We are made whole when we meet Jesus.  We are praying for our friends to experience this.

Today, there’s a group of friends.  They want to get their friend to Jesus.

These men had a mission.

They wanted their friend to meet the one who can transform their lives.

            And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus,  Luke 5.18 (ESV)

Jesus had been going throughout the region teaching.  We don’t think about this often, but Jesus was doing miraculous healings.  These friends wanted to see their friend made whole.  Having a mission changed their focus.

            “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19.10 (ESV)

This was Jesus’ mission, to seek us out and change/transform us.  Is this what drives us?  What’s your mission?  You know Jesus.  Who do you have in your life that you want to meet Jesus?  I hope you have been praying for the person you chose last week.  If you weren’t here, please pick up a prayer guide and join us.  Jesus’ mission is to bring people to Himself and restore them.  These friends wanted to see their friend experience this.  We believe that if the people we chose can meet Jesus they too can be transformed.  If you’ve already met Jesus you know what God has done in your life.  The same God who walks with you, the hope you’ve been given is the same hope the world and our friends can have. 

These men had an eager expectation.

            And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus,  Luke 5.18 (ESV)

Their friend was paralyzed.  They believed that if you were sick it must be because you have sin in your life.  Remove the sin and you’ll be well again was the commonly thought.  They have a sick friend and they wanted him to be made whole.  We know today that sin is destructive in our own lives as well.  Sin does cause damage, but sometimes bad things happen just because we live in a broken world.  Jesus came to restore the world.  One day we won’t take communion any longer.  Jesus will return.  There won’t be a need for communion, to remember.  We have this hope even now.  Jesus Christ can transform.  People were hearing that Jesus can heal and make people whole.  Do you feel this way about a friend or family member?

When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman, she met Jesus.  She tried to avoid the question.  What do you need?  What’s broken in your life?  She realized she was known by God.  Sometimes we fight and resist this.  God healed her and loved her.  We have a need to be known by God as well.  In John 4 this woman who was avoiding people.  She was at the well at mid-day.  She then goes from village to village to saying she has met Jesus!  She was known by and healed by God.  Do you have this expectation?  Are you asking, what if my friend could meet Jesus?

These men encountered an obstacle.

            but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. Luke 5.19 (ESV)

This is a perfect Hollywood story.  They hit a wall, an obstacle.  These are going to happen.  We want the people we have chosen to meet Jesus.  You may have already experienced an obstacle.  There are circumstances that are out of our control.  These can cause doubts. 

Jesus is in the village teaching in a house.  The word is out.  They want to get to Jesus.  They are curious.  They cannot get in the house.  This is a fun story!  They decided to go through the roof!  I looked at my roof yesterday.  This roof would have been different than the ones we have today.  For all you insurance agents out there this kind of roof had tiles that you could remove and put back into place so there probably wasn’t any damage made to the house.  Going through the roof is not an easy way to enter a home.

There was a disturbance (verse 20).  Jesus sees their faith, having moved past obstacles.  Jesus wants to see their friend made whole.  Let’s pause here for a moment.  You will reach an obstacle.  When this happens our tendency is to just give up.  I bet you have been praying for someone you’ve already prayed for before.  These men could have easily said, “Sorry buddy, the house is full.  We tried.”  Sometimes God invites us into challenges.  What will we do?  Do we really believe in our most important thing is to see our loved ones meet Jesus?  Sometimes God calls us to get creative, to think and pray.  Sometimes we need to ask God how we can overcome an obstacle.  We sometimes pray for God to do it.  This is an awful but wonderful prayer.  These men came to an obstacle and they got more than they bargained for.  They are wanting to know if their friend can walk.  Jesus sees their faith. 

These men got more than they bargained for.

Notice the first thing Jesus does: he says, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Jesus meets our deepest need, the need to be forgiven, to be made right with God.  Whoever you’re praying for needs to be made right with God.  In Christ we are made right.  Some religious leaders became angry at what Jesus said.  Only God can forgive, they said.  Jesus said, hold up!  I’m getting there! 

                    But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”   Luke 5.24 (ESV)

The reason Jesus healed the man was to demonstrate he had already healed him spiritually.  Have any of you met this guy?  Of course you haven’t because this was over 2,000 years ago.  That man still died later.  Our greatest need is our need to be restored in the presence of God and made new. Yes, it’s easy just to say your sins are forgiven.  God can restore us and make us whole.  God can take your family member and restore them.  My questions is, “What do you really want from Jesus?”  Do you want to feel better and be made whole?  Our prayer is to be made whole.  God used four friends to bring this man to Jesus.  Our goal is to just bring them to Jesus.  Jesus knows their hearts.  Jesus has the power to transform.  Our role is to just get them to Jesus.


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