What’s causing paralysis in your life ?
Luke 5:17 -26
George Methodist Church
8am and 10am
With Peter Veysie
1st November 2020
The stories in the bible have huge impact on our lives if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and to guide us with what the Lord is wanting us to do and to hear.
It’s always a challenge to find ourselves almost paralysed by either a fear or a sin or an area of unforgiveness and sometimes we need to find our way to Jesus and often with a little help from our firends even if it means breaking through the roof of the house !!!
1. The religious critics. Verse 17
I want to put this scripture in the context of the story as we find ourselves walking with Jesus along the sea of Galillee and the fisherman have been fishing all night but without a catch of fish – put your nets on the other side ???They were called to become fishers of men.Jesus then heals a leper and touches him which by the law of Moses would make him unclean and his new disciples, but this is not a problem for Jesus – “Lord if you are willing,you can make me clean.” Go and show yourself to the priests…
News about him was spreading far and wide and now he comes to where he was staying in Galilee. Mark says it’s Capernaum, Matthew says it’s his town and Luke doesn’t say which town it is !!!
The Pharisees and teachers of the law are sitting there probably listening and waiting to trip him up.
I often think that the first point of paralysis comes with the what will they say or the fear of the critics in our lives. I find it quite powerful that Jesus is not deterred by this and continues to teach no matter what.
The critics will always be around you. I remember a prophecy that I received when I was a lot younger about mutterers and stutterers that would be there throughout my ministry and I must say that it’s really true, but I have to be careful that these voices do not paralyse me which they have done before. I am sure you are aware of those religious critical voices in your life which just sap the energy out of you. Jesus knew all about this and shows in this particular context how to not allow them to derail you.
2. The Power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Verse 17
I want to say that even Jesus knew that he needed power from on on high to heal the sick. Fundamentally one could say that Jesus does not need any specific motivation to heal the paralysed man. He has come into the world out of love for us human beings, to help us, to save lives, to heal lives. Nevertheless we get in this story a hint that there is a right time, a “kairos”, for the healing of the paralysed man. It says in verse 17:
And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.
We are here given a small insight into the mystery that the healing action of Jesus takes place in association with his Father. Jesus acts with authority, but not in an autocratic way.
It’s quite profound to me that this is where we can find paralysis too when it comes to doing what the Lord wants us to do. If you have a moment it’s often difficult to just stop and pray for someone. We get afraid of what they might think, but I have found that it is very seldom that people will say that they don’t want prayer and even the hardest of people. Don’t get paralysed out of a fear of not knowing what to say. Ask for power from the Lord and be bold in knowing that He will guide you and give you wisdom.
3. The friends that bring the paralysed man to Jesus.verse 18 -20
It’s profound to me that these friends who probably had been living with this paralysed man for many years had found themselves probably having to carry this man to Jesus. The house is so full that they can’t get in and so they go up onto the top of the house break open the roof and let the man down for Jesus to heal him.
It’s hugely significant at this point that Jesus points to the faith of the friends and not the faith of the paralysed man. Verse 20 “When Jesus saw their faith,he said, “Friend your sins are forgiven”
I love the fact that they had worked through their own possible paralysis and possible lack of faith to get to this point. The boldness of the friends breaking through the roof is most profound to me. I believe that there are times when you have no way of taking another step in your own physical or spiritual paralysis and you just need a group of friends to stand with you and boldly ,through prayer ,take you to the feet of Jesus. There is nothing more satisfying than to find people who love you so much and who are willing to sacrifice their own lives or even their reputation for the sake of a friend.
James 5: 13 -16 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
When we are paralysed with whatever it might be then we need our sisters and brothers to bring us to the feet of Jesus. Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
4. The critics will look at the “hole in the roof” and miss the whole point !!!
5. Is there any connection between an illness and sin ?
For the critics and the religious there was a firm belief that sin was the reason for a persons sickness. This is still around to this day and Jesus quite clearly deals with this with the blind man who is healed.
What is Jesus saying? Is he bringing illness and sin into a causal relationship? That confuses us. For in another story of healing of a blind man (John 9, 1 – 3), we hear that Jesus clearly rejects the connection between illness and sin. Perhaps we will get nearer to the meaning of Jesus’ behaviour, if we take as our starting point the fact that Jesus understands a person instantaneously. Jesus has probably seen intuitively that this paralysed man suffers at least as much from guilt feelings and self-reproach as from his paralysis. And so he first meets this need with a saving response.
It is not unknown to us that people, when confronted with the diagnosis of a serious illness, start to ask how it could have happened and whether they have perhaps contributed to this illness through a bad lifestyle. This is a question a friend of mine asked herself – although she had always lived in a healthy and sensible way – when she learnt that she had cancer. Should I have eaten more healthily, worked less, taken more exercise? Question after question, insecurity, and vague tormenting guilt feelings. This cause more paralysis than the paralysis itself !!!!
When such a person is told: Whatever you are guilty of or think you are guilty of, you are loved, you are forgiven, all is well between me, God, and you as a person – then that is a huge relief for the person concerned!
Just a few things on the side as I am dealing with forgiveness this morning and I am a little disturbed with a teaching that may point to the fact that we might be cursed if there is unforgiveness in our lives and that God cannot forgive you!! I always find myself being reminded of Psalm 103:12 as far as the east is from the west so far does God remove my sins.
Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25 ESV
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 18:21-22 ESV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Luke 6:37 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The pharisees see Jesus as blaspheming and Jesus knows what they are thinking in their hearts.
The work of the Lord has so often been paralysed by what others are thinking in their hearts. I wonder how much further we would be along the way if it were not for bearacracy and legal stuff that may be important but so often gets in the way of the will of the Lord. Is it important enough to stop what God is doing. Jesus could have been paralysed by this but he is not !!! And nor should we !!!
6. Pick up what’s been holding you down and get rid of it – the mat !!!
Get up take your mat and go home !!! The very thing that’s been controlling you all the time – pick it up – Allow the Lord to take authority over it !!!
7. Everyone was amazed and gavce praise to God. They were filled with awe and said “ We have seen remarkable things today.”
When your paralysis is overcome people will praise God knowing that he has been involved in your healing and restoration.
And so here are some qustions that we may need to answer today :
- What’s causing paralysis in your life ?
- If others are paralysed how are we being called to be a friend to them and how will you bring them to the Lord?
- What’s keeping you on the mat ?
- If you are one of the religious asking “who will fix the roof?” Maybe you need to find a way for the Lord to soften your heart !!!