When Jesus Saw Their Faith
Read 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. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 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.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
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?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 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.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
What a remarkable group of friends the paralyzed man had! Imagine the humility, generosity, and compassion these friends must have had to carry their friend into Jesus’ presence. The man could not have gotten there himself because the crowds were too substantial and the terrain too difficult. The man’s friends wanted his healing and wholeness more, it seems, than even their own. After all, they didn’t ask that their sins be forgiven or their ailments (everybody has something) be healed. They showed up for the restoration of their friend. And their faith enabled their friend’s sins to be forgiven. Notice that Jesus didn’t stop at healing the man’s body—He did the deeper, more important work of forgiving his sins. What would our world look like if we all sought after the healing and wholeness of others before ourselves?
- Who came to mind as you read today’s passage? Why do you think that is? What might God be saying to or showing you by bringing that person to mind?
- Who do you know that might need your faith—however small you might consider it—to bring them into Jesus’ presence for healing and forgiveness?
- What is God’s invitation to you in today’s passage?
God, thank You for Jesus and the forgiveness, life, and restoration I find in Him. I long for the full restoration and healing of my body and mind, but for now I am grateful for my relationship with You through Jesus. Use my faith to encourage and lead others into Your presence so they can find that same forgiveness, life, and restoration. Amen.
Share what you each love about your closest friends. How do you show your love to those friends?
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