The Gospel of Luke - Week 17
And it so it looks like last week Chris helped us to see how Jesus engages our lives. I'm even in the midst of our complete death producing sickness, right if you if you if you were here, you really should go take a listen to that. It was really good. He's got 1/8 a tremendous description of what leprosy looks like. So you really should do that go check that out. But one of the beautiful things about what we see in that space is that Jesus doesn't hold people at arm's length, right he engages with us in the midst of our death in the midst of our mess in the midst of everything that's gross about us. Jesus comes into the point where he's willing to touch us. And so That's where we find ourselves coming into this section of scripture. Jesus heals the leper and tells him. Hey, you need to go see the priest go take care of this according to the law and then he withdraws from everybody. This is a pattern that we see Jesus go through throughout his ministry. He engages with people and then he withdraws from people he ministers to a group and then he goes away by himself or with his disciples to rest to pray to be restored. And so this is what happens right before our passage today and inverse 16. We see that that he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. That's what we pick up today with verse 17. We're going to be looking at Luke 5:17 through 26 and I want to read it. It'll be up on the screen you follow along in your Bible. But this is what Luke records for us starting a verse 17. On one of those days as he was teaching Pharisees and teachers of the law. We're sitting there who would come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem and the power of the Lord was with him to heal and behold some men were bringing on a bed a man who is paralyzed and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus and when he saw their faith, he said man your sins are forgiven and the scribes and Pharisees begin to question saying, who is this who speaks blasphemies who can forgive sin but God alone when Jesus received their thoughts he answered them. Why do you question in your hearts, which is easier to say your sins are forgiven you or to say rise and walk with that you may know that the son of man has Authority on Earth to forgive sins. He said to the man who was paralyzed I say to you rise pick up your bed and go home. And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home glorifying God and amazement sees them all and they glorified God and were filled with awe saying we have seen extraordinary things today. I suspect story. Right we Jesus is is teaching and he's at somebody's house and it has lots of people and and this draws the Pharisees they this is these are the group of people leave the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. These are the religious guys. These are the people who know the Scripture it Apostle Paul was a Pharisee and he outlines some of the things we we know from from history what was involved in becoming a Pharisee one of the things you had to do was you had to memorize the first five books of the Bible are these guys knew scripture? They were the religious guys. They they would set the bar for what religious protocol look like. Luke here tells us that at this point when Jesus is teaching here in this house that the Pharisees and teachers of the law have come from Village of Galilee and Judea it's so so every village in the in the vicinity all of the religious guys were there. And from Jerusalem, so there's a lot of these guys here. I want you to talk about these guys a little bit right? These These are people who have all the answers I made maybe you maybe you know somebody like this or you've been around somebody like this. These are the religious people who have all the answers or you know, they seem to have it all together. You look at them. Man that guy's got to going on he knows his stuff. She knows her stuff. They have a Bible verse for everything. I have you ever been around somebody like this or just has a Bible verse for everything. This is what's going on with the here's here's your Bible verse this thing happened. Okay. Here's your Bible verse that for everything. What kind of the hardest thing about these kinds of religious people is to make you feel bad because you're not as good as they are. I've been around somebody like that the super Christian. the super religious person
the kind of make you feel bad because you're not as good as they are. How do you say the kinds of people? Did the Pharisees are? Did they started with a good idea right? Here's the thing is the Pharisees really wanted people to obey the Bible and that's a good thing. Right if we were to put it to a vote and one option was we should obey the Bible and the other option is we shouldn't obey the Bible. I hope we would vote for we should obey the Bible but that's not there's nothing wrong with that. It's a good idea. The problem is is that the Pharisees had made it about having a perfect life, but didn't make it and make it about hears God's expectation and we're not going to be able to meet it. But we should still strive toward that they said you better be perfect. And you better be perfect to our expectation of perfect. Not God's expectation of perfect our expectation of her but they made it about works not about grates to the Pharisees were supremely concerned with enforcing all of the rules and laws and not just the laws that we find in scripture because these guys wanted to make sure that you weren't going to break a lot unintentionally and so they would add things to keep you from breaking the law. So we were going to put a warm place to keep you from breaking the law. So so here's here's an example of this right if we were to think through this in modern-day the speed limit out on 5th right here is used to be 30 25. Now, let's say it's 25, right the speed limit 25 The Pharisees would come along and say hey we're concerned for you. We don't want you to break the speed limit. It's 25. So we're going to make a rule the speed limits only 20. Speed limit 25 you have to drive more than 25. That's that's the rule. Don't break the rule cuz we don't want you to break the law. 22 rule don't go faster than 20 so you're not driving faster than 25? That's how they worked can only go so many steps on the Sabbath because any more than that and you're doing work, you can only do certain things in certain ways because after that you're breaking the law.
There's some really interesting things that that accept come come about from this in in modern day life for a long time and certain Jewish communities when they were buildings with elevators. They would hire Gentiles non-jews specifically to operate the elevators for them because according to their interpretation of what it means to do work on the Sabbath pressing. The elevator button was work. You were causing an electrical circuit to be completed and that was work and you can't do that. It's okay for the Gentile to do that. He can break God's law that you can't.
This made them really politically and socially powerful. I mean think about it. If you've got this group of people who has access to God's law like they're the ones who understand they've memorized and they studied and they put the time in and they're the ones who really know what God's after and they say do it like this. Are you going to you going to fight against that you going to go against that they're the ones who should know and they're telling you you need to do it this way. It made him really powerful because they were the ones who could tell you if you were obeying God's command or not. You might not know why I didn't know I couldn't push the elevator button now. It's okay. We've got you will take care of you with will will take that burden on ourselves will study the law. We will interpret the law for you and tell you what you can and can't do.
and we We hear those kinds of things and we can think about those kinds of things we say. Oh that's that's that's kind of silly. I did. It's okay for the for this guy to push the button and he can he can send against God's law but but we can't and that's okay. That's that's taking things too far over the fact of the matter is that we all have a little Fair CNS We'll have a little Pharisee inside us.
We think we've got it together at times. We we've got what other people need and if you ever have those kinds of conversations in your head or with other people, right? If only so-and-so was here. I would tell him exactly what they needed to do.
What's a Pharisee? the Pharisee in our hearts We don't like to think of ourselves as religious people right is legalists. We we we know what legal is. So are we see how legal is a can say all we're not we're not like that. That's not us. The problem is we're just legalistic in a different way, right so so our legalism might be more fun. How did still legalism? Because we have created these rules for what life should look like and how life should be lived.
and we don't take kindly to people who interfere with those rules.
She at this point what about Jesus and what he was doing it been spreading he he'd been casting out demons. He been healing people and word was getting around the countryside now that there was this guy over in Galilee who was doing some pretty astounding things. And so whenever he goes somewhere whenever Jesus shows up everybody starts to come out they want to listen to what he has to say. They want to see the Miracles but he has to do are the reports true. Is this guy the real deal what's going on? I don't want you to look at this this this section here, right this verse 17, the teachers of the law of the Pharisees were sitting here they come from every village of Galilee and Judea from Jerusalem. They had put themselves into a place where they had breast through the crowd to be right next to Jesus.
The Regular People by probably the people whose home it was were able to get close to Jesus because the religious guys had worked their way in.
They showed up at the door said hey, it's me Versi Bob. I don't know. Can I come in and just sort of work their way up to the front sit next to Jesus? At the end of verse 17 we see this interesting phrase. We see this phrase and and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. I see the thing about miracles. Is that the Pharisees had a good fee ology of miracle and a great Theology of healing they had studied the Old Testament stories that they had understood that God had done miraculous healings in the past. They've they've read the story of Naaman the leper who baptized, you know, dunk himself in the in the Jordan River 7 times and was healed. They read all of the stories up all of God's healing. Throughout his history with his people. They had a Theology of healing. But Jesus actually had power to heal and this was something different. That experienced this kind of thing before they hadn't been somebody like Jesus even close to Jesus and his real in a very long time. And so they are coming to find out what's going on to see what's happening because they're supposed to be the ones who know what's happening. They're supposed to be the ones who know what's going on. Jesus teaching in This Old House and the people are gathering and they want to hear and they want to see and so they crowd into the house and the Pharisees show up from everywhere. They push past the crowd. And in this tiny house with the heat of all the body's warming it up and that the smell of too many people in a small space.
Fix feel like they have to have the place of honor. I got to get close so I can see so I can sign off.
Did the Pharisees are the only people in the story right Pharisees are are just part of the story. There's also this group of guys. Now that this is late. This guy's these guys they have a friend and their friend is paralyzed. He's unable to walk. We don't know why we don't know how long he's been this way. We don't know if he had some sort of a work accident or or what but their friend cannot walk and they know that Jesus is in town and they know where Jesus is going to be and they know that Jesus heals people. and so They pick him up. They grabbed his mat and they they're going to get him in front of Jesus so that he can be healed. That's that's what their mission that's what they're trying to do. But when they get to the house, there's too many people to get in and I want you to imagine is that the house is probably fairly small and it's full of people. And when the Pharisees show up the religious guy these guys show up into this Full House. What happens everybody Sort of defers? Hope you come on if you can come in go ahead take a spot. You can go sit in the front. That's cool. And then they crowd in again. And when these guys show up I'm making an assumption with for I don't think it tells us is for making an assumption when these guys show up with their friend the carrying and they're literally have picked him up on a mat and are carrying him when they get to the door. They can't get in.
Who more obviously needs to see Jesus the religious guys that can't walk. Play can't get him in. There's too many people. Play the camp press through the crowd. They're not opening up to let them in and so what do they do? Look up verses 18 and 19 and behold some member bringing on a bed a man who's paralyzed and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd they went up on the roof and they let him down with his bed through the tiles into the mix before Jesus. What do they do with the tear hole in the roof? Like this is enterprising stuff. Right? I want you to imagine what that might have been like me think of this rent. This room is probably much bigger than the house that Jesus was teaching in but imagine if if we had this a whole Crush of people in here at someone's up here giving the sermon and all of a sudden in the midst of this ceiling tile starts to kind of trickle-down it falls. It's going to come a little bit will look up wonder what's going on. That's that's weird. Not sure what's happening there. And then you start to hear the pounding in the moving in the brushing and all of a sudden a hole opens in the roof and it gets bigger an egg is a bigger what we don't know from the text is whether or not Jesus stopped and looked up.
Do you keep teaching like it's Jesus Jesus knows what's going on, right? So maybe he keeps teaching and everybody in the crowd is going.
What's happening? We don't know. But at some point the holes big enough and they lower the Dude down on his mat right in front of Jesus.
Now you can imagine that the religious guys are pretty upset about this. I mean we might get upset about this if if we're in the middle of a sermon and all of a sudden there's a whole open in the guy drops down. It's going to cause some confusion. But look how Jesus responds in verse 20 and when he saw their faith, he said man your sins are forgiven.
It isn't chastising for breaking his concentration for interrupting him in the middle of his third point is not frustrated with this guy. I mean homeowner might be But he's he's not upset. He's not mad. What does he do? He looks at him and says you have faith and your sins are forgiven. And this is when the Pharisees lose it. Adam religious guys, they put up with stuff up to this point that they're put up with the hot stinky house. They put up with Jesus doing stuff and sort of an unauthorised manner. But this is when they lose it look at verse 21. And the scribes and the Pharisees begin to question saying who is this who speaks blasphemies who can forgive sins, but God alone when we read that. We we tend to read it with sort of a you know, kind of a like, who is this? Who is this? But you have to understand that that is not how they would have thought about this that is not how they would have said this. This is a big deal. Like blasphemy is one of those sins that will just get you killed.
Hey, there's no there's no.
Offering there's no sacrifice that you can give to get out of this one in in the the Mosaic law blasphemy get you killed. And and here's this guy is Carpenter From Galilee who's teaching and then the whole opens and the guys there and blasphemy.
These guys are hot. Who is this? Who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God Alone who does he think he is?
God is the only one who can forgive sin and the Pharisees know this verse is understand something that we sometimes don't understand. They understand that sin is primarily committed against Scott. Like we can send against each other if I lie to Tim I'm sinning against him. But that's the second part of it because when I lied at em, I'm sinning against God who told me not to lie.
Anytime we send. We may be sinning against another person, but we are always sinning against God. We are always putting ourselves in debt to God when we sin. and the Pharisees understand this and so when Jesus says I forgive your sin. He's acting with the authority of God. He said your sin whatever you have done, sir have been committed against me and I forgive you.
This is why they accuse him of blasphemy because in that moment he's saying I'm God. I Am Co equal with the one who can forgive sin who can forgive sin God. I'm equal with God.
And this is a really big statement. This is a big thing. No other religious leader says this. Muhammad no claim to God Muhammad never claimed he was God. Buddha no claim to God Joseph Smith no claim to God And most of the time if someone comes up to it says hi. I'm God. You're crazy.
I'm going somewhere else.
None of these other religious leaders have ever said anything like this not one of them ever looked at somebody and said your sins are forgiven.
But every one of them has said I found this cool process. If you go through it, if you do all of these things, if you don't do all of these things, right we got a list of do do these and our list of don't do these if you do that and if it the end you've worked hard enough and prayed hard enough.
And paid God back. Enough, maybe someday God will forgive you. But that's how it works. What are the Pharisees operated they've been looked at the law? And they saw the list of do's and the list of don'ts and if we obey hard enough. Then God will have mercy and forgive us if we keep the right sacrifices if we offer the right things on the burnt offering.
that's how all religion works Do these things don't do that? Those things work hard enough to do this. Don't do that work hard payback God. This makes sense. It makes sense that we should have to work hard. Right? We're trying to obtain something as glorious as heaven. And so it makes sense that we should have to work hard. We should have to slog through it. We should have two stripe and struggle through life to attain something that good and something that glorious It makes sense that we should have to earn to pay back what we owe. Every other realm of human existence is like this right? I'm going to go buy a house II I have a house right now. What do I have? I have a mortgage that I owe have to pay that back and see what I have to do. I have to go work hard to earn money to pay back. The loan I took for the house.
We do this all the time. And so it makes sense that we would go. This is what God's like life is like this. God must be like this. Set the problem is what we owe to God cannot be paid back.
It's not possible. That's so that's why the words of Jesus stand in such a stark contrast to us why it just it just doesn't feel quite right sometimes.
Jesus looks at the man and says you're forgiven. Now I want you to notice some things here because this is I think an important thing.
The man didn't ask for forgiveness.
He doesn't he doesn't get dropped through the ceiling and lay in front of Jesus on his mat cuz he can't stand up. You can't walk into the sea Jesus. I know I'm a sinner. And I know that you can forgive me and as much as I know how Jesus forgive my sin and come into my heart doesn't do that. It doesn't ask to be forgiven as far as we know. He doesn't even ask for physical healing. That look doesn't record any words from the paralyzed man to Jesus.
He gets dropped out of the ceiling. Right in front of Jesus. And with all the authority of God Jesus forgives him.
Like it doesn't fit our parameters. Not only does that not fit are like everyday sort of Life parameters. It doesn't fit a lot of our church parameters. We don't we don't do church that way a lot. Right because we put these things around forgiveness. But yes, God will forgive you as long as you put your hand up when nobody's looking and who the pastor go. Thank you. Thank you. I see those hands. Thank you. That's my background. That's my that's what I grew up with. Maybe you have another methodology right? God doesn't forgive you until you stand up and come down the aisle to the altar. And blubber in front of everybody. I mean, that's really the sign of holding this right is how much you cry in front of everybody else? That's how we know. You're really holy know. Okay. We put all of these things rabbits pray this prayer say these words do this thing read this book. all of these things Fall under the Pharisee tackle approach do this don't do that. And if you work hard enough God will love you maybe and forgive you your sin. But Jesus doesn't work like that. Jesus didn't look at this guy's they look. Okay. Here's the deal man. You know, I want to forgive your sin. But until you say the prayer. Kind of stuck with this way right there. There's a scene in the movie Aladdin. Is there everybody seen Aladdin, right? Okay. So Aladdin has used his first wish to be made a prince to Prince Ali Ababwa and and there's the song number and all this and he is connecting with Jasmine and they're they're getting along and they have the whole new world flight and he's kidnapped right after that cuz Jafar know something's up and ate. I am the chain into a rock and throw him into the ocean and when he's under water is at the bottom of the ocean. The lamp falls out the genie shows up and it looks at him and he says I want to save you I want to do this for you. All you got to say the words. I can't do it let you say the words. That's what religion is like, we're tied to a rock at the bottom of the ocean drowning.
If someone is standing there saying I'll save you you say the words. You try to talk with your mouth full of water. Doesn't work. Ever open your mouth at the bottom of a pool. Doesn't work. Jesus doesn't operate like that.
These doesn't wait for this man to say the words. he says I see you have faith. You're forgiven.
He says it's the Pharisees looking for 6:22. 224
when Jesus perceived their thoughts he answered them. Why do you question in your hearts, which is easier to say your sins are forgiven you or to say rise and walk but that you may know that the son of man has Authority on Earth to forgive sins. He said to the man who was paralyzed I say to you rise pick up your bed and go home.
Jesus exercises his power and authority as God to forgive them and sin, but he knows that the Pharisees don't believe why do you question in your hearts? Like maybe you've asked this type of question before I know I have right? Why do I how do I know that? This is real? How do I know that this is real because I've been burned before right? I saw people who I thought were real. and it wasn't
I had expectations of what these people were like and they weren't anything like that.
this questioning in our hearts has plagued Humanity since the fall, but if you think back to Genesis in the garden What is what is the enemy of humanity in God do he says just God did God really say he plants that seed of doubt? Did God really say and it echoes and reverberates all through history to this point when there's a group of religious teachers who see Jesus forgive sin and set they say to themselves. He can't do that. But what's he doing? He can't do that. And Jesus asked them. Why do you question? What's easier? To say you're forgiven or to say get up and walk.
It's a good question. I mean really think about it. What is easier to say. Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or to say to a guy who can't walk who can't stand up stand up and walk. The first place we go is well, it's it's way easier to say your sins are forgiven your sins are forgiven. There's there's nothing to show you. There's nothing to prove. There's no way to lay that out to make some sort of empirical statement about the truthfulness of that your sins are forgiven. It's way easier to say that I meant to say get up and walk. But it's because we don't understand what Jesus is doing.
In order for Jesus to look at the man and say your sins are forgiven.
He has to leave heaven. I come to Earth to be born in the likeness of humanity. To live a life of perfect obedience to God's law and to die on the cross in the place of that man. He just told you're forgiven.
It is not easier. Say your sins are forgiven and to say get up and walk and Jesus knows this. the Pharisees don't and so centrally what he says to them is you don't believe I'm God. So to show you not only am I going to forgive him. I'm going to heal him. Get up and walk. What he's doing is he is showing us he's showing the religious people the physical reality of what's happened in the spiritual reality. The man has been physically healed. Number 25 heat gets up. He picks up his mat and he goes. And that's the physical reality. That's what they can see. That's what you can measure that's what you can prove. But what Jesus is doing is he saying as healed as his body is So is his soul?
Has put together as his legs now are so is his spiritual reality look at verses 25 and 26 and immediately Heroes up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home glorifying God. They're just going to say this. If God heals you like that, the only appropriate response is to glorify God. That that's just it. 15 Mile Bridge musics and amazement sees them all and they glorified got and we're filled with all saying we have seen extraordinary things today.
Is there any people are good with Jesus feeding altitudes many people are good with Jesus Healing The Sick and giving sight to the blind. Overall, we're pretty okay with Jesus meeting physical needs. But we struggle with the implications of Jesus claiming his authority extends to forgiving sin. That's what we struggle. We struggle with that and this is the big idea that we're trying to get you here. Is that only the power of God can accomplish the work of God. Only the power of God can accomplish the work of God, right? So so if if God is seeking to restore the relationship between himself and Humanity Then that's the work of God. And therefore only the power of God can accomplish that which is why we beat ourselves to death when we try to do that. Because we're not God. What what is the work of God look like imma give you a few examples here up on the screen or at least the the versus will be up on the screen so you can write it down to go. Check them out later the first one. John John's gospel chapter 6 verse 29. I realize now. I didn't give myself good enough markers in my Bible. John 6:29 Jesus answered them. This is the work of God. What's the work of God? Jesus says, this is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent. The work of God is that we believe in Jesus.
2nd Peter 1:3, so I've got a few of them here.
2nd Peter 1:3, that's 1st Peter.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. The work of God is that we keep the hold. His glory and Excellence that we we believe in Jesus that we both hold who he is his glory his excellence and we continue 1st Corinthians 6:12. 1st Corinthians, 6:12 Next time I'll put better notes in their markers in my Bible.
Tell you know, I'm not cheating 6612 that's 1st Corinthians. 1st Corinthians, 6:12 is not right. Maybe it is. No, it's not. Okay, maybe 2nd Corinthians. 6:12. Let's go. Look there. See you this how you really know. I'm not cheating cuz I wrote down the wrong thing in my notebook.
No, I don't know. I'll get you I'll get you a better you can flip to the next Lakers. I'll get you a better one. I'll find I'll find the actual thing. I'll send it out to you. Right but the point is is that we are born again by his power. We believe in Jesus that we behold his glory his Excellence that we Are Born Again by his power.
And then Romans 15:13. I know this one's right cuz I looked it up. Right before I came.
Nothing organized about religion here.
1513 Romans 15 13 May the god of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in Hope The work of God is that we be filled with joy and peace in believing so that we can abound in Hope.
What does God want to do when our lives he wants to see us believe in Jesus to behold his glory and Excellence to be born again by his power and to be filled with joy and peace in believing so that we can abound in Hope.
Only one with the power of God can do this. Only Jesus can do this. Cuz he's God.
And there's a right response to this if we if we look at the man who was healed. He he was paralyzed. He couldn't walk you can even stand and Jesus says your sins are forgiven stand up and walk and he gets up and walks. And what does he do? He goes glorifying God that is the right response for when God does that but we have a right response to an hour right response is amazement.
Weaver's 26 amazement sees them all. I'm a glorified God and were filled with all saying we have seen extraordinary things today.
Our right response is to be amazed at what God has done and what God is doing to glorify God for what he has done and what he is doing just standing in awe of God and what he has done and what he is doing and to say we have seen extraordinary things today.