Summary: Jesus touched the life of one paralyzed man & changed him forever.
“ONE PARALYZED FRIEND” Luke 5:17-26
CWBC – 1/13/19
INTRO – Driving down a street in downtown Jackson area. Saw these letters on side of building: WIT. Underneath them were the words, “Whatever It Takes.”
Thought that would be a good name for a church. I believe that ought to be our attitude when it comes to sharing the Gospel w/ those who are lost. Are we willing to do whatever it takes to get the Gospel to them? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to bring them to Jesus? This morning, we will be looking at some men who did just that – they did whatever it took to get one broken, hurting friend to Jesus. J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC, & the president of our SBC said this: “On any given weekend, there are more than 5 million Southern Baptists gathering to worship around the country. Can you imagine the impact we would make if every one of them asked God to let him or her lead one person to Christ next year?”
EXPLANATION – Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Luke 5:17-26 (page 861 in pew Bible).
After His healing encounter w/ the leper, Jesus had pulled away from the crowds for a time of spiritual replenishment & refreshment w/ His Father (v. 16). Of course, Jesus was God in the flesh, which meant that He always had the power He needed to do the work that His Father had given Him to do. But as Jesus the man, His practice of drawing away from His ongoing ministry in order to pray teaches us the importance of that same thing for our lives. If we want the power of God to be evident & active in our lives, we must regularly draw near to Him in prayer.
This story of the friends bringing their paralyzed buddy to the Lord is one of my favorite stories of healing all of the Gospels. It embodies so much of what you & I need to be about when it comes to seeing & experiencing the transforming work of Jesus. As we continue our focus on “Who’s Your 1?”, this is an awesome story of what can happen to 1 paralyzed friend when folks don’t give up.
- 4 people saved at Mission Byram this past week. Glenn Pilgrim shared through his tears that 1 of the ladies who was saved has been coming to Mission Byram since it opened – over 4 years ago. So she has been exposed to & heard the Gospel on multiple occasions. And finally she came to faith in Christ this week! Just like these men didn’t give up in bringing their friend to Jesus, we can’t give up either! What a testimony!
APPLICATION – So let’s take a look this amazing story of 1 paralyzed friend who was forever changed when he met Jesus. I want us to notice:
THE POWER – v. 17 – There’s a sentence I want you to notice at the end of v. 17 – “And the power of the Lord was w/ Him to heal.” Why was the power of the Lord w/ Him?
- First, b/c He was & is God. Remember what Isaiah said about Him in his prophecy? “…He shall be called…Mighty God…” (Isa. 9:6). Plain & simple: The Mighty God is a powerful God!
- Secondly, b/c the Holy Spirit had come upon Him. Luke 3:21-22 – “…when Jesus had also been baptized & was praying, the heavens were opened, & the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove…” – What did Jesus say to us in Acts 1:8 about the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Third, b/c HE was there – Jesus, the Savior – the very embodiment of the Gospel. Rom. 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” – The Gospel in human form was standing right in front of them.
- Finally, b/c of the faith of those who were there – v. 20 – “And when Jesus saw their faith…” There were times in Jesus’ ministry when He could not heal b/c there was such little faith. Mark 5:5-6 – “And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people & healed them. And He marveled b/c of their unbelief.”
That same power is present here for us. That same power is present here in us. The power of God that Jesus used to heal is the power that you & I can use to share the Gospel w/ those who are lost. Question is: Do we have the faith to believe that God can & will use us?