Friday 09 June 2017

Bible Book:

“When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (vv. 20-21)

Luke 5:17-26 Friday 9 June 2017

Psalm: Psalm 117


And so it begins. In the healing of the paralysed man Jesus iscriticised by the religious leaders of the day for the first time.Their opposition to him is first voiced here, and so the journey tothe cross via his arrest, and trial commences. With the Phariseesand teachers of the law lurking nearby, having made the tripespecially (verse 17) there is a certain inevitability that Jesuswill fall foul of them. Yet it is not his demonstration of healingpower which causes their displeasure.

Jesus is heartened by the faith of those who, unable to squeezethrough a packed room, used an outside staircase to access the flatroof of the single storey house and then remove tiles in order tolower their ailing friend down before Jesus. Jesus' response beforemending the man's broken body is to offer restoration to the sicklysouls of him and his friends (verse 20). Such an offer isblasphemous to the ears of the religious leaders, since it implies(correctly) that Jesus is assuming the divine power to forgivesins. In response, Jesus expresses his dismay at their lack offaith (verse 22) which contrasts starkly with those whose sins hehas just forgiven.

Because belief in a link between sin and illness was widely heldat that time (see John 9:2), Jesus healing of the man physically(verses 24-25) acts as a further demonstration that his divineauthority encompasses both physical and spiritual healing. Theresponse to the miracle underlines this, with both the healed man(verse 25) and the assembled crowd (verse 26) giving glory to God.These "strange things" highlight for the first time the growinggulf between those "filled with awe" (v. 26) at Jesus and those whoare increasingly filled with rage.

To Ponder

  • Does Jesus still divide opinion with as much passion as he didin his earthly ministry? Why/why not?
  • If the church is a continuity of Jesus' mission, should beexpect to be equally divisive? Again why/why not?
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