Summary: The Surprising Jesus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Luke chapter 5 verses 17-26.
• (a). DVD – Rolf Harris - Jake the Peg (on Youtube or email me)
• (b). Kids Talk illustration
I WANT US TO LOOK AT THE 4 TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS STORY:
(1st) The friends of the paralysed man.
• Ill: Have you ever had a picnic or B-B-Q and watched;
• A black ant crawl up a table leg until it reached some spilled sugar.
• It seemed to eat, then crawled back down the table leg.
• Soon the two black ants crawled up the table leg to the sugar.
• They ate and left. Soon a steady steam of black ants;
• Moved up and down the table leg to enjoy the sugar.
• Point being that they must have some system by which they communicate,
• 'I have found something good and I want to share it!'
Now look at the 4 friends:
(1st). They cared.
• These four friends believed that Jesus could heal their friend,
• And they were determined to get him through the crowd to Jesus.
• Sad that many Christians never share their faith!
• Personal but never private!
Verse 18: There is a problem:
“They could not find a way to do this because of the crowd”.
• Now in eastern culture there was (and still is) an open door policy,
• So when a celebrity visited a home, it would soon became crowded.
• Now the house where Jesus was staying was not just crowded,
• It overflowing, it waqs teeming with people.
This caused a problem:
• The really needy people couldn't get through to see Jesus,
• Often it is those close to Jesus that prevent others from discovering him!
• We can easily allow are own preferences our own prejudices or our own traditions;
• To become a hindering block to others.
In the life of Jesus;
• He was again and again criticised for being unconventional,
• Because he would not play be the rules of religion,
• Because of where he went ill: Tax collectors & sinners (end of the chapter)
• And because of who he associated with ill: Woman of Samaria.
Yet despite their apparent righteous criticism of Jesus:
• The text makes it quite clear that it was Jesus who had God’s approval upon him,
• And not the religious leaders, who sadly are called ‘a stumbling block’ in the scriptures.
Verse 19: Is the solution to the problem:
• The roof of a Palestinian house was flat,
• It was often used a place of rest and quiet,
• So there was usually an outside staircase, which ascended to it.
• And so the four friends decided to go up it.
I would have loved to have been inside the house:
• While Jesus was preaching, all of a sudden he looked up,
• And noticed dust (ill: Luke St “Jesus didn’t mind a bit of dust”)
• Within minutes sunlight shone through the hole,
• Followed by four faces peering through the hole in the roof.
Jesus must have smiled when he saw their enthusiasm:
• He greets the man with the expression: "Friend".
• A term of affection, with a welcome and not with anger over a damaged roof.
• After all it was only a building, an inanimate object,
• Here was a living person with feelings and needs.
Notice: verse 5: "When Jesus saw their faith"
• Matthew, Mark and Luke all agree,
• That Jesus spoke of "their" faith, not "his".
• Jesus always recognised real faith and enjoyed pointing it out.
• The friends believed in him and THIER faith was about to be rewarded.
(2nd). They acted.
• They didn't sit at home praying about it (don’t miss understand me!)
• They put some feet to their prayers.
• Real belief results in action!
• Our doing is an expression of our concern.
The Good Samaritan.
• Not the ones (Priests & Levite did) who felt sorry for the man;
• But the one who ‘did something’ for him that mattered!
(3rd). They worked together (unity).
• Four men, Mark is the only writer who reports that it took four men to carry him.
• But they had to pull in the right direction or ooops!
Question: Unity is so important in the Christian life.
• Are we pulling together? Are we rowing in the same direction?
• Ill: Psalm 113 verse 1
Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon together;
• When all of a sudden both sides were filled with Indian warriors on horses,
• They were obviously dressed for battle.
• The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and asked, “What are we going to do?”