Summary: Even when faced with the impossibility of getting through the crowds these friends did not give up, they just got innovative! We all need persistent friends that are willing to do whatever it takes for us to get what we need
Gospel of Luke 5:17-26 - The Power of Persistent Friends
(portions of this message were taken from a message here on Sermon Central. I do not remember the author or the sermon title - my apologies!)
We are in a message series on the Gospel of Luke
The word “gospel” literally means “good news”
So, you could say that this series is about “The good news of Luke”
What exactly is this good news?
Simply put, it’s the life story of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most influential person who has ever existed
Even if you’re not a Christian, or even a particularly religious person, you cannot deny this fact
No one life has affected the whole of humanity more than Jesus Christ
Since He has affected the world so deeply you would think that all of us would know a lot about Him, but unfortunately that is not true
Many claim to know about Jesus, but in reality few people really do
The Gospel of Luke details the events of Jesus’ life from His birth to His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection
Luke is written by a Gentile to a Gentile audience
Since the vast majority of us listening to this message are Gentiles I think it’s very appropriate that we study this Gospel
Let’s jump right into our passage for today in Luke chapter 5
Luke 5:17-26 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. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 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. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." 21 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?"
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Get up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."
There’s a lot going on in this passage!
Jesus is teaching inside someone’s house
We don’t know whose house it is – that doesn’t really matter
What we do know is that the place was packed with people!
Luke specifically states that there were “Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem”
Word about Jesus had spread across the whole region and these religious leaders came to check Him out
I’m sure that there were plenty of other people in the house as well and most likely the crowd spilled outside the house
I’m sure more and more people were arriving as word spread that Jesus was in town
In fact, word of Jesus being in the house reached the ears of some men who had a friend that was paralyzed
We don’t know why or for how long, but that doesn’t really matter
These friends had heard about Jesus and about the miracles that followed Him
So these men decided to bring their paralyzed friend in on a mat in hopes that Jesus would heal him
I can imagine the excitement that was in the air as they carried their friend towards the house where Jesus lived
And carrying their friend was not necessarily an easy task!
Most of you know that I’m an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)with our local volunteer fire department
I’ve had many occasions in which we had to carry a patient and let me tell you it is hard!
Our rule of thumb is that if we’re going any real distance we want 6 people carrying
We have backboards and stretchers that are designed for this job and even with 6 people it still is exhausting work
With the paralyzed man in this story there was no special equipment – they were carrying him on a mat