Manna for Today

 

Jesus Can Forgive Our Sins (Luke 5:17-26)

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, 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.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”  (Luke 5:17-26)

Learn it:

            In Jesus’ ministry so far, he has been teaching and healing people.  Luke always wanted to keep the two together and that Jesus was not just giving people physical healing but also teaching them.  His teaching began to draw the attention of the religious leaders.  As he is teaching four friends bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus and lay him down.  These guys went to great lengths, climbing on top of a roof, making a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend down to Jesus. 

            What’s interesting is that Luke does not mention if the friends say anything.  All we know is that they brought their friend to Jesus and He responds to their action by saying, “Your sins are forgiven.”  This is a bold statement!  The Pharisee’s are shocked because only God can forgive sins.  They do not make the connection that Jesus is God they just see a man claiming to be God.  This did not set well with them. 

            Then Jesus asks what is easier, to forgive sins or heal someone?  From one point of view, it is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” because there is no way to prove that they are.  Whereas if you heal someone there is evidence.  Jesus than does the thing that should be harder and heals the man.  This miracle proves that he is able to forgive sins and the crowd is amazed at what they saw.  I mean, who wouldn’t?

Live it:

 

            Jesus can bring not only physical healing but more importantly spiritually healing.  He can forgive our sins.  We just have to boldly go before him and ask.  Sometimes we need friends to come into our lives and carry us to Jesus.  What do you need to take before Jesus and ask for forgiveness?  He has the power to forgive and restore your relationship with him.  Is there a friend in your life you need to carry to Jesus?  How can you boldly love someone today?    


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Jesus Heals Unclean People (Luke 5:12-16)

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  (Luke 5:12-16)

Learn it:

            When you read this story do you know how scandalous it was?  This leper, an outcast, considered unclean, was not welcome in society came before a respected holy teacher and asked to be healed.  People present would have been shocked and religious leaders would be getting ready to condemn this man.  Yet Jesus’ first response was to reach out and touch this man.  A man who probably has not felt physical contact in a long time.  Jesus showed great compassion and healed this man. 

            Then Jesus told this man to follow the Old Testament law.  Jesus did not want to show disrespect to the priestly order.  He wanted this man to be fully welcomed back into society by following the proper procedures.  Jesus was showing great humility.  After the healing, his popularity increased, and more people were coming to hear his teaching and to be healed.  Any other person would have loved the attention and used it to spread their message.  Jesus is no normal person.  He decided to retreat, pray and find satisfaction in his relationship with God the Father. 

 Live it:

             In this story, we should relate to the leper.  Before we came to Christ, we were unclean.  Not worthy to be in his presence and did not deserve his grace.  Just like Jesus touched the leper before he was clean, like Romans 5:8 says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  This act of love should make us fall on our faces every morning and praise God.  A perfect God sent his son to the earth to redeem the human race.  This should boggle our minds, it does mine!  Why would the creator of the universe do this?  He does it because he is full of compassion, mercy, and grace.  This should lead us to worship him and tell others, just like the leper.  Praise God!  


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Jesus is a Good Fisher of Men (Luke 5:1:11)

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.  (Luke 5:4-11)

Learn it:

            Jesus is out on a lake in a boat with Simon and his partners, teaching to a crowd on shore.  We don’t know his message but after his message, he tells Simon to put his nets down into the deep water.  This would have been a very strange request.  Simon is a very skilled fisherman and the best time to fish is at night and you also fish in the shallow waters.  Jesus is asking them to do the opposite of what makes sense.   Whatever Jesus said during his teaching made an impact in Simon and he did what Jesus said.  When they pull up the nets they are almost bursting because they are so full!  It was amazing!

            Simon at seeing this is filled with awe of who Jesus is and tells him to get away because he is so sinful!  Simon recognizes Jesus as some holy person that he is not worthy to be around.  This was common because Simon was probably a Jew.  Being a fisherman who would have been considered unclean and should not be around people, especially teachers like Jesus!  That is why he has this strong response to Jesus.  Yet what does Jesus do?  Jesus draws Simon closer.  Tells him to come, follow me.

Live it:

            Jesus came to flip things on their head.  In Judaism, if you were sinful, you are unclean and should be kept away from people.  According to Christ, if you are sinful, you need to repent and draw close to him.  Wow!  He is merciful and when we feel unworthy, he wants to pour his love on us.  We need to take the posture that Simon had of humility.  Tell God that we are unworthy of his love but then we can run towards him.  How can you experience the love of God today?  What sins do you need to trust him with?  


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Jesus Heals People and Takes a Break (Luke 4:38-44)

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.  (Luke 4:38-44)

Learn it:

            After Jesus was teaching in the synagogue he went to Simon’s, the soon to be a disciple of Jesus, house.  While he was there, he performed a miracle by healing her from her sickness.  Jesus gives evidence of the fullness of her healing by saying that she was then able to wait on them.  While Jesus was in the town people then began to bring people to him one by one.  We see Jesus did not do a mass healing but showed compassion by laying hands on each one. 

            Just like in the previous story where Jesus cast out a demon, demons were shouting, “You are the Son of God!”  Demons knew who Jesus was and he did now want people to hear that.  One reason may have been that if people heard demons saying this it could mean that Jesus was a servant of an evil god.  He did not want people to be confused and he would reveal his identity at the proper time.

            Then, just like any other person Jesus needed to take a break.  He needed solitude.  Even the Son of God needed time to breathe and, probably, reconnect with God the Father.  Jesus then needed to move on to another town.  A big theme in Luke is the kingdom of God.  Jesus was going around telling people about his kingdom and it was open to everyone. 

Live it:

            This story reminds us again of the power of Jesus.  The reason Jesus was healing people was to authenticate His teachings.  When he was teaching that he is the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament people may not have truly believed him.  When he then went on to heal people and cast out demons it gives more weight to his words.  We love Jesus not because he is a healer, we love Jesus because he is the Son of God. 

 

            We also learn in this passage the importance of rest.  Reconnecting with God the Father is important for everyone.  How are you doing at spending time with God?  Do you pray and rely on him throughout your day?  While it’s great to be able to spend 30 minutes in the morning praying and talking with God, I know it’s not always possible.  But praying even short prayers throughout the day can be very powerful as well.  That means he is always on your mind and you are dependent on him.  


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Pastor’s Corner