An Unexpected Day
Father God, I praise You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. May the Spirit give me guidance, strength and comfort today.
Read LUKE 5:17-26
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Our lack of expectation can stand in the way of the miracles of God in all phases of our lives and relationships. Unbelief, discouragement, and disillusionment can stifle our expectation. We expect little and are not surprised when little happens” (Lloyd John Ogilvie).
Perhaps because the word got out about the healing of the leper, Pharisees and teachers of the Law now appear for the first time. No doubt they came more to check out what was going on than to submit to Jesus’ teaching and healing. They were largely a lay movement, meticulous about keeping the Mosaic Law because they believed that, when all of Israel was obedient to the Law, God would liberate his people. At that time the Messiah would come and God would judge the world.
Imagine Jesus sitting with them inside the house. It must have been unbearably crowded. Then there is a commotion, as a hole is made in the ceiling for a man to be let down on a stretcher! His friends had also heard about Jesus and were determined to bring the paralytic man into his presence. (Notice that Jesus commends their faith, a practical faith if ever there was one!) Then, instead of immediately healing the paralytic man, whose obvious need was right in front of his eyes, Jesus first pronounced his sins forgiven. This violated all that the Pharisees stood for: only God, they believed, could forgive sins, and that through the prescribed rituals of the Temple. Jesus knew what they were thinking. Without entering into any argument he simply pronounced the paralytic healed. Immediately he picked up his stretcher and walked home.
“Paradoxa,” says Luke in the Greek (26): “The opposite of what we had thought. We have seen extraordinary things today.” This is not what they expected. Don’t miss the irony of the story. The Pharisees were committed to their program of bringing in the kingdom of God as they waited for the Messiah. So entrenched were they in their way of life that they couldn’t see what was in front of their eyes.
Are you childlike enough in your faith to see God at work? List the surprising ways God has recently worked in your life. Thank him for his faithfulness.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are active in my life and in my church. Don’t ever let me lose the sense of freshness and expectation that Your presence brings.