Bible Discussion — Luke 5

January 23, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Erin, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next chapter of Luke, Luke 5.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4

 
INTRODUCTION:
Steve:
Miracles are on display in this fast-moving chapter. Jesus’ ministry is getting started, and woe to the demons, paralysis, or fish that get in His way!

Connie:
Jesus continues His new ministry by choosing disciples and irritating the local religious leaders with unorthodox and amazing healings.

David:
Peter is called and forsakes his fishing business to follow Jesus, but this is not the first time for Peter (Matthew 4:18) nor the last (John 21:16). Peter always manages to end up back in his boat, fishing again. Peter and I (and perhaps you too) have had to deal with this issue more than once. It’s interesting that in the famous water-walking text, Jesus is again urging Peter to get out of the boat. “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.”

Erin:
This chapter is just one of the many that make up Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry. I am both interested and frustrated at Jesus’ willingness to heal (in some instances), His intentionally vague parables, and His choice of disciples. But that’s why many have called our faith a “mystery”!

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Josh:
Just before Jesus forgives the paralytic, it says that Jesus “saw their faith.” Not his faith, but their faith. I know that ultimately we all have to make faith decisions for ourselves, but I also believe strongly that there are times when we just have to have enough faith to carry our friends through to that point.

Erin:
After the leper is healed (v. 13), people start flocking to Jesus, and the need for Him to be alone with His Father seemed to increase — it seems to me a sign of Jesus’ humanity that as the pressure of his ministry increased, communing in prayer with God became even more important.

Steve:
I never noticed the reaction of those who witnessed Jesus forgiving and healing the paralytic — “We have seen strange things today!” I can tell you — I’ve left some meetings with that same testimony.

Connie:
Verse 17 — “…and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”

Chloe:
Luke points out an important aspect of Jesus’ character in verse 6: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” This made me think about what I do when I’m emotionally drained, as I’m sure Jesus was (and much more than I) throughout His ministry. Typically, I read a book, or turn on some music and play a game online. I don’t pray. Prayer sounds exhausting to me, and I need to relax. Prayer as an emotional refresher is something that never really occurred to me.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Chloe: Water’s Edge
David: Whither Thou Wouldest Not (WTWN)
Steve: A Certain City
Connie: Follow Me
Erin: Sons of Zebedee
Josh: Through the Roof; Dinner with Sinners

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF::
Steve:
In modern movies, when a character crashes through a ceiling, it generally results in paralysis or death. Funny how the original through-the-roof entrance had the opposite effect.

Josh:
A few years back, a mission team full of college students I worked with acted out the story of Peter, James and John in the sailboat, complete with cardboard cutout boat and a volleyball net full of construction paper fish. When the point of the story came to reveal the previously hidden “catch,” a slightly overzealous hoist caused all the fish to fly out of the net and cascade over the watching children. The multicolored spectacle brought the miraculous nature of the story to life in a way we never even planned.

David:
Steve Wilbur preaching on this and saying (after Peter obeys Jesus in thrusting out the net again after failing all night): “Behold! What manner of man is this that even the businessman obeys Him?”

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Erin:
I think that the account of Jesus healing a paralytic demonstrates His total reconciliation of creation. The Pharisees are ticked at Jesus because He claims to be able to forgive sins, so to show them that the redemption that He offers is total, He also heals the paralytic. This can be (and has been) misconstrued into the thought that ‘if we are saved, all of our physical ailments will never trouble us again.’

This, the majority of Christians know, is nowhere near the truth. But in demonstrating that the power to forgive sins and to heal the sick come from the same source (the triune God), Jesus brilliantly demonstrates the complete redemption of the created order. And what part of that order is more in need of restoration than the human? “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (v. 31)

David:
The healing of the man with the palsy illustrates the power Jesus had to not only heal, but to forgive sins — a significant departure from anything they expected of the coming Messiah. It also illustrates the difference between our wants and our needs. We want to be healed, we need to be forgiven. We can live without physical healing, we cannot live without forgiveness.

Chloe:
I love the story of the paralytic being lowered through the roof, not because it’s proof that determination in prayer will reap rewards, or because Jesus yet again slammed the Pharisees. I love it because it hones in on Jesus’ purpose. The first thing He says is, “Friend.” Friend. Then He says, “Your sins are forgiven.” And that’s it. He could very well have left it at that. In other words, forgiveness of sins was paramount, and healing the body came second. The first may just sound like words, but just think, if God were to call you friend, then absolve you of every sin you ever committed, how remarkable would that be?

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
David:
In 5:14, after healing the man, Jesus “charged him to tell no man.” It makes sense. If everyone else is getting healed for free, who’s going to speak up and say, “Um, I paid $39.95 for my healing.”

Chloe:
Did Jesus shoot Simon a dirty look in the middle of verse 5?

Steve:
Jesus sees the faith of the paralytic’s friends, and responds by forgiving him.

Connie:
How simple it all was. He tells Simon Peter where the fish are, and all of a sudden these four fishermen park their boats and join Jesus. He says to Matthew, “Follow Me,” and he does. The power of the Gospel is in its simplicity. I’m convinced of it.

Josh:
Which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or “Get up and walk”? Hmm. Well, I don’t know, neither one is much of a tongue twister.

Your sins are forgiven.
Get up and walk.
Your sins are forgiven.
Get up and walk.

I’m going with “Get up and walk.” Definitely easier.

Erin:
What type of fish did Simon catch?

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Steve:
5:16 — “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”

David:
5:13 — “Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.”

Erin, Chloe, Josh:
5:31-32 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ ”

Connie:
5:17b — “And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Josh:
Why would Jesus instruct the beneficiary of a miracle to keep it a secret? Why would He even think it would be humanly possible?

Chloe:
What does verse 17 mean? “And the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick.”

Steve:
I’d like to ask Matthew (Levi) about the events of verses 27 through 32. Had he heard about Jesus before He came to visit the tax assessor’s office that day? Was he sitting there, among the records, praying that God would change his life, recapture his strayed heart? Or was it all a big surprise — one second, calculating how many denarii to charge Saul ben Omer; the next, following a charismatic teacher who barged in and invited him to follow?

Erin:
What on earth is Jesus talking about with the wineskins?

David:
5:17 says, “There were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by…and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” All of them? How does this work, that anyone can be saved and yet few are? How much depends on our response and how much is God’s choosing?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Chloe:
Pray often. Desire forgiveness of sins before physical healing. Heal the sick.

David:
The last verse makes the point that “no man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth the new; for he saith, ‘The old is better.’ ” Christianity is an acquired taste; Jesus is sowing the seed that Peter, Paul and the others will soon reap.

Steve:
It’s similar to last time — look at the way Jesus responds to the pressures of ministry and popularity. The multitudes pressed in to hear Him — so He took time to withdraw and commune with God. The people desperately sought Him for healing; He made a point of desperately seeking God in prayer. Our response to stress, our response to pressure, our response to any demand on our minds or souls, our default setting should be prayer.

Josh:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

It’s a lesson for religious leaders throughout the ages.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Steve:
Here we go with the parables. Jesus clearly knew the power that stories have over the human mind, the way they stick with us, eat at us, pound away on our hearts. Parables are fascinating, because even when you think you understand their meaning completely, there’s always something about them that leaves you curious and wondering. Wanting more. He knew His audience (humanity) and He knew how to intrigue them.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
The chapter is thus concluded and stands concluded.


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