Summary: What Would You do to bring someone to Christ? Looks at the full text Luke 5: 17-26 with a call for decision at the end.

Luke 5: 17-26 … “Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures.”

Jesus Heals a Paralytic (original except for titles of outline points.)

What would you be willing to do for $10,000,000? In their book, The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim reveal some shocking statistics about how far people in this country are willing to go for ten million.

Would abandon their entire family (25%)

Would abandon their church (25%)

Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)

Would give up their American citizenship (16%)

Would leave their spouses (16%)

Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)

Would kill a stranger (7%)

Would put their children up for adoption (3%)...

What would YOU be willing to do for that sum of money? Maybe … Fudge a little on your taxes? Tell your insurance company … a story that wasn’t the whole truth?

Let’s forget about cash. What would you be willing to do to find a cure for cancer? How ‘bout world peace … or ending hunger? What would you do … to save your best friend’s life?

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

In the Bible in Luke chapter 5 we see a group of people who are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to see their paralyzed friend healed.

Turn with me, if you would, to Luke chapter 5, beginning with verse 17. Luke chapter 5, verse 17.

“17: One day as He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.”

First, notice the crowd.

Jesus had been baptized, gone through his 40 day temptation in the wilderness … been rejected in his own hometown, and was now teaching in Galilee, where He called Peter, James, and John to be His disciples.

He had healed many sick people, and people were coming from everywhere to be healed. Verse 15 records that “crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Crowds were pressing around him constantly, and this day things were no different, except for who was in THIS crowd.

Instead of people wanting to be healed, Jesus was facing Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the toughest crowd there was … and they were just WAITING for Him to step one TOE out of line.

But The Pharisees were some of the Best people in the Land morally speaking… the kept the law. They were extremely accurate and minute in all matters pertaining to the law of Moses.

They tithed their income, they fasted twice a week and prayed 3 times a day. Their very name means “separated ones” … they separated themselves from the world.

At first glance, Pharisees would be welcome in just about ANY church today. They kept the Law.

And the teachers of the Law were just like them … they recorded and analyzed the body of the Mosaic Law and the traditions that surrounded them. They were there to watch for and point out error.

But more importantly, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law weren’t there to learn from Jesus, they were there to catch Jesus in a mistake.

Ya know, it’s kinda like NASCAR. People don’t REALLY go to watch the races … they go to party, to mingle … to drink (Coke of course) … and to see a couple real good wrecks!

And I wonder in some of our churches if that attitude doesn’t slip in every now and then. Maybe we’ve been a Christian a lot of years, maybe we’ve even been to school.

And at some point we change over from the teachable spirit God wants us to have … that we come to church to learn and apply God’s truth, to coming to church to make sure someone’s not teaching error.

When I was in Little Rock, attending a large non-denominational church of 6,000 I had to work really hard to overcome this. There were a couple things that were more opinion than anything else …

… like their particular view of predestination, for instance. And pretty soon a person can lose the forest for the trees over one nonessential matter.

They taught the essentials of salvation well and a great many other things, especially the authority of the Word.

You’ll never find a church that agrees in the Word with you 100% about every last thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, Jesus Himself in Matthew 7 warns us to “watch out for false prophets.”

The Bible says in Acts 17:11 that the Bereans were “more noble” because they searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true.

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