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The Greater Miracle

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Luke 5:17–26 ESV
17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 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. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 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.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
Last message on the Series The Miracles of Jesus
The Miracles of Jesus
Anecdote:
Jesus performed miracles..
We focus so much on the HOW of Jesus’ miracles - Jesus indeed performed wonderful miraculous acts.
It is good to revisit and understand the WHAT, WHY of Jesus’ miracles.
THE WHAT
What are miracles in the first place?
We used the term “miracle” loosely..
It’s a miracle that some of you came to church early.
We use it in professional sports, that win pulled by that team was a miracle.
I like Webster’s definition of a miracle:
The primary definition:
miracle - Noun
mir·​a·​cle | \ ˈmir-i-kəl \

an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs

A miracle is an act that only God can do. For a miracle to be valid and legitimate, it has to be through the power of Almighty God.
Verse 17:
Luke 5:17 ESV
17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
Notice - And the power of the Lord was with Him to heal.
The word for power is dynamis, from which we got the word for dynamite.
Image of dynamis here.
The mention of Jesus having the Dynamis power to heal is unique in Luke. Perhaps because Luke was a physician and he is careful to distinguish his ability to cure from his knowledge and skills of medicine and the absolute divine power to heal that is found in Jesus.
This was also the first time that Luke mentioned the Pharisees. Some of these official religious leaders from Jerusalem were present to investigate what He was doing.
Luke 5:18 ESV
18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus,
In the King James version, this paralyzed man’s sickness was palsy, a condition of the body marked by uncontrollable shaking. There are types - cerebral palsy, Bell’s palsy.
Whenever we see people paralyzed and having this condition we feel compassion. How I wish we can see them through the eyes of the Son of God...
Before seeing this paralyzed man with palsy, Jesus healed a man with leprosy.. the man with leprosy kneeled before Jesus and cried “if you are willing, you can make me clean, the Bible said Jesus was moved with pity that he stretched out His hand and touched the man and healed him. The implications of touching a contagious, unclean man with leprosy..Jesus became unclean — isn’t that the story of why Jesus came in the first place?
Jesus demonstrated love before He performed miracles of healing.
What a Savior.
This is when we go to the first WHY of Jesus’ miracles:
a. Jesus performed miracles to help people in their condition, or to meet a need.
It has been prophesied that the Messiah will bring healing:
Isaiah 35:5–6 ESV
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
It means that miracles affirm Jesus as the Messiah, so the first why authenticates His mission.
There is still a spiritual lesson to this healing of the man with palsy.
While leprosy is a picture of the corruption of sin.
Palsy is a picture of the paralysis that sin brings to a person’s life.
There are many able bodied people who walk and move normally in the world today that are in fact paralyzed in their souls because of sin.
We do not know if this man who had palsy was paralyzed because of His sin but we will see later that Jesus would address His sin problem and need for forgiveness.
Luke 5:18–19 ESV
18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 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.
The house where Jesus was in Capernaum was most likely Peter’s house. It was about 350 square feet. It was crowded.. they removed the roof made of straw and earth...
The paralytic was unable to come to Jesus himself, but he was fortunate enough to have four friends who were able to get him to Jesus. These four men are examples of how friends ought to minister to one another and help needy sinners come to the Saviour.
To begin with, they had faith that Jesus would heal him (Luke 5:20); and it is faith that God honors. Their love for the man united them in their efforts so that nothing discouraged them, not even the crowd at the door. When they could not get in at the door, they went on the roof, removed the tiling, and lowered the man on his mat right in front of the Lord!
This is the case of not the faith of the man who needed healing that made the difference but the faith of the men who loved him enough to bring him to Jesus.
You can bring a miracle to a someone you love by your faith in God to heal.
Luke 5:20 ESV
20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
It is the faith of the friends that Jesus saw, but at the same time he also looked deeper into the man’s condition. The need of his soul for forgiveness.. It could be that Jesus saw the man’s past — immediately Jesus addressed the man’s greater need.
Which brings us to the second Why of the miracles of Jesus.
b. To prove He is from God. - To authenticate His Person
Luke 5:21 ESV
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
They knew exactly that only God has the authority to forgive sins.. notice that Jesus did not make an effort to correct them,, Jesus will make a claim that He Himself is God,
Luke 5:22–24 ESV
22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 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 proved that He has authority to heal the man’s soul by forgiving His sins by healing him of his paralysis. Anyone can make a false claim of forgiving someone of his sins, it is easy to say “your sins are forgiven you”., but in order to prove that I have authority on earth to forgive sins, which also proves that I am God I will do the harder work of commanding this man - ‘rise pick up your bed and walk!’
Notice too that Jesus used the title ‘Son of Man’ for Himself. His listeners would know that Daniel applied this title to the Messiah.
Luke 5:25 ESV
25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.
I like the word immediately, when Jesus heals, the healing is instant and genuine. No need to resort to gimmickry.... the man stood up, picked up his bed and went home.. well did he not thank Jesus… well he just obeyed, his first act of obedience.. but he went home and glorified God..
Luke 5:26 ESV
26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
These people were amazed at the miracle and their response is that they glorified God and that they were filled with awe or reverent fear.
Which brings us to the final WHY of the miracles of Jesus..
c. Jesus healed so that people will believe - to authenticate His message.
As we end the sermon series on the miracles of Jesus, I can imagine questions in your mind.. can the same miracles happen today?
I believe they could. There is a camp that believes that miracles have ceased, they are called the cessationists, that miracles ended with the stories found in the Bible. I am in the camp of the continuationists. I believe miracles of healing and deliverance can happen in our time, after all Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
While we want to witness miracles, while we desire for miracles to be more commonplace in our church, while we pray for people to be miraculously healed let us not miss out on the greater miracle.
You noticed that in this story, before Jesus healed the man of his sickness, he first forgave him his sins. which tells us a lot..
Forgiveness is a greater miracle and of greater consequence than physical healing - it is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Our forgiveness… should amaze us.. the miracle of the exchange.. glory to humanity,, then the second exchange, Jesus was nailed on the cross in place of our sinful selves
Have you thanked the Lord today for the greatest miracle?
Rise pick yourself up and go in peace!
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