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Summary: The Surprising Jesus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Luke chapter 5 verses 17-26.


• (a). DVD – Rolf Harris - Jake the Peg (on Youtube or email me)

• (b). Kids Talk illustration


(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.

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