I’ve always loved the story Luke captures for us in Luke 5:12-24.
One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” 21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
I’ve always been intrigued by the phrase in verse 20, “Seeing their faith…” There was something about the faith of these four friends that caught the attention of Jesus. Just think about that for a minute. To react or respond in a way that catches the attention of the Son of God is an amazing thing. It makes me wonder if my faith, and the way I live it out, catches the attention of Jesus.
This Sunday we’re going to dig a bit deeper into this passage to discover four features of “visible faith.” I hope you plan to be with us at either 8:30 am, 10 am, or online! By the way, remember we’ll be hosting our annual Christmas Eve service tonight from 7 – 8 pm with serve-yourself communion following in room 101.