Early in Jesus’ ministry we see Him healing a lot of sickness. In fact, His popularity began to soar in part because of that. In Luke 5:17-26, there is an amazing story of some friends of a paralyzed man going to great lengths, and heights, to get their friend in front of Jesus. Take a moment to read the story… What stands out to you in this narrative? There is a lot to unpack here, isn’t there?
No doubt we see a lot of faith expressed in this story - the faith that this paralyzed man and his friends placed in Jesus Christ. There are some truths in this amazing story that I want to share. The reality is, we are all paralyzed by sin and in need of spiritual healing - the healing that only Jesus can offer. So what can we learn from this story?
It is worth going out of your way to experience Jesus! (Luke 5:17). We see people willing to walk for days, even a week, one way to see and experience Jesus. Why do you think they were willing to do that? Because He was worth seeing, hearing and experiencing! Are you willing to go out of your way to experience Jesus? What would that look like in your life? Maybe going out of your way to carve time in your busy schedule to read the Bible daily, to spend time in concentrated prayer, to attend a life group, to attend worship weekly… will you go out of your way to experience Jesus? He is definitely worth it for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is our need for healing.
When you are in need of healing, turn to Jesus! (Luke 5:17b). Jesus has the power and ability to heal! In fact, one of the many, specific names of God in the Old Testament is Jehovah-Rapha which in Hebrew means “The Lord Who Heals”. We see that name in Exodus 15:26. In scripture we see that God (Jehovah-Rapha) has the power to heal physically (2 Kings 5:10), emotionally (Psalm 34:18), mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalm 103:2-3). Jesus Christ showed that He also had the power of the Great Physician (Matthew 4:23).
Not only did Jesus heal people physically, He also healed them spiritually by forgiving their sins (Luke 5:20). Every day, in every way, Jesus proved Himself to be Jehovah-Rapha in the flesh.
When you know someone needs to get in front of Jesus, do whatever it takes to make that happen! (Luke 5:18-19). When these men couldn’t get through the crowd to get their friend in front of Jesus, they could have given up; but instead they got up on the roof, pulled back the tiles and lowered their paralyzed friend right in front of Jesus!
I wonder if there is someone in your life right now who needs to be in front of Jesus, to experience Him, to place their faith in Him? Who in your life needs to know how much Jesus loves them, to know how much He wants a relationship with them, to know how much He wants to encourage them, guide them, protect them, heal them, forgive them? Are you willing to go to great lengths, great heights, and take great risks to get them in front of Jesus? The truth is, their eternal life depends on it!
What matters most is not temporal, it is eternal. (Luke 5:20). Jesus knew that this man needed healing, but not just physical healing. Like all of us, he needed spiritual healing even more. This man, like you and me, needed grace, mercy, forgiveness. So Jesus addressed what mattered most first; He offered healing for his soul - forgiveness. (Matthew 9:10-12). Jesus didn’t focus on the temporal, He focused on the eternal! Nothing matters more in this world or the next.
Faith yields blessings beyond belief! (Luke 5:25-26). This man came to Jesus lame, crippled, paralyzed physically and spiritually. But because of his faith, Jesus healed him. Everyone present was awed by the remarkable things they saw that day. When you experience Jesus, you will be awed! Place your faith in Jesus today. Ask Him to forgive your sins and lead your life!
For much more, listen to The Jesus Experience Part 4 - The Desperate.