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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Desperate

Trekking thru Luke today into chpt 5 and my oh my what a chpt. I've been there for a couple of days now because it's just such GOOD stuff!!! Jesus catches record numbers of fish for Peter, James and John, he heals a man with leprosy - not just heals him but actually TOUCHES him - then the story of the paralytic being lowered thru the roof - then Jesus eating with "sinners" and predicting a time of fasting to come. See? GOOD stuff!!

The thing that has really hit me thru this chapter is (well, one of them anyway) the desperation of the people. The Israelites were living in a time of bondage. They were waiting for their hero (Messiah) to come because they knew it had been prophesied for him to come. They were facing death, poverty, diseases, governmental unrest.....sound familiar? They were desperate. Then Jesus comes and begins teaching about loving your enemy, reaching out to those less fortunate, calling out their hypocrisy and they are not real happy about it all. Sure, it's hard for them to dispute the miracles. I mean, 4 men climb on a roof carrying a man on a mat and lower him thru the roof, all to get a chance to have the Master's touch...that's desperate.

Ok, I gotta pause and talk about this one for a sec. Get this picture in your mind. They were in a house made of stone with roofs made of a mixture of mud and straw laid out in "tiles". The place was packed with Pharisees and teachers of the law "from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem" according to verse 17. We know that in those days most people didn't travel alone, especially religious leaders, so we can assume there was a LOT of people there. The men have their friend, a paralytic, which means he is dead weight, lying on a mat carrying him to Jesus. They push thru the crowds to no avail. Can't you just see them standing outside scratching their heads going "Ok, how we gonna get in there y'all?" (yes I believe they spoke with a Southern accent! haha)

So like any typical red-blooded male would do - they devise a plan. 2 men climb up while the other 2 hoist up the friend. The other 2 climb up, then they drag him up across the roof. Then they tear a hole big enough to fit him thru - being sure they're getting close enough to Jesus - then lower him gently down to the Master. Ok, so you know I'm just imagining this - this is not Biblical exposition here - but stick with me. Now we know that Jesus knew what was happening. Jesus knew the man was coming. He knew the friends had carried him - from just how far we have no idea. He knew the man needed healing. So why not, just say "Time out guys, I'm needed out front" and spare them the work. I believe it was so that you and I could see not only the faith of these great friends, but the desperation.

I believe that not until we're in a place that we're willing to do whatever it takes to get a touch from God. A place where we know there's no other way. A place where we are willing to let it all go and take whatever risk we have to just to be near Him, will God work. I don't believe He does this to punish us, or to make us look weak, or to embarrass us. I believe He does this so that when our miracle comes, we'll have no other choice but to go out praising God. We'll have no other choice to but to look over our lives and say "We have seen remarkable things".

Lord Jesus, thank you for the example of these men and so many others in your Word that remind us of our desperate state. Thank you for showing us how much you long to bless us. Thank you for loving us and longing that not one of us should perish. Thank you for coming to the earth and fulfilling the Promise of Scriptures to bring sinners to repentance. Keep me desperate Lord. Remind me who I am in you. In your precious name I ask it. Amen.

2 comments:

CrownLaidDown said...

Amen to your prayer, sweet Valarie!

I love this story. And understand the desperation to get that touch from Jesus. Yes, I do.

Blessings on you, my friend!
holly

JenB said...

Ok nothing spiritual about this, but I tagged you for something on my blog. :)