Friday 22 January 2021

Bible Book:

'We have seen strange things today.' (v. 26)

Luke 5:17-26 Friday 22 January 2021

Psalm 65


In this Bible passage, I wonder where the 'strangeness' lay that the Pharisees and other onlookers commented on. The crowds at the house? The roof being destroyed as a paralysed man was lowered down? A paralysed man able to walk? Sins being forgiven? All of those could be thought of as strange and unusual.

Crowds gathered around a house was not a common experience. It was enough to be noteworthy and perhaps could be seen as strange and it was certainly a sign that something special was going on.

 A man being lowered through the roof (I'm pleased it wasn’t my house) was highly unusual and definitely strange. It was a desperate action and an unusual way to get attention.

 A paralysed man getting up and walking. That was strange and wonderful indeed – a miracle. It was  the sort of thing you hear about and disregard as exaggeration, not something you see for yourself.

 Someone having their sins forgiven. Whether you see this as strange or not depends on what you think about sin. Today we might think it strange because it seems irrelevant. We know that paralysis has many causes, but sin isn’t one of them. However, in Jesus's era, sin was seen as the cause of all bad or unfortunate things and events. The paralysed man was paralysed because he had sinned. End of story.

 So, the most strange and wonderful thing the bystanders saw is something we might miss. The forgiveness of sins for us is a 'so what?' expression. But to the bystanders at the time, it was proof that Jesus was filled with the power of God. That Jesus might even be God. The paralysed man walked; it meant his sins were forgiven. Only God can forgive, so who then was Jesus? It was strange indeed, thought-provoking and definitely wonderful. 

To Ponder:

  • How do the things we think of as sins have an impact on wider life?
  •  How does forgiving people change the way we think about them? How does it change the things people do?
  •  We don’t believe that sin is the cause of every bad or evil thing, so what does sin cause? 




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