Scripture: Luke 5:12-26
Key verse: (23) Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Stand up and walk”?
Reflection: What a bold risky story! A group of men carry their paralyzed friend to meet Jesus. When they arrive, the house is too crowded and they can’t get in. So they turn around and go back home. Sorry, maybe next time!
Nope! They climb onto the roof, made a hole in the tiles, and lowered their friend right into the middle of the room in front of Jesus. They were bold and risky. I wonder what the owner of the home thought about that. Then Jesus asked the man whether or not he believed and when the man answered affirmatively, Jesus healed him.
Nope! Jesus looked at the friends and commented on their faith. Their “above and beyond” effort was a sign of their love for their friend and of their faith in Jesus. Jesus looked at the man and proclaimed “Stand up and walk!”
Nope! Jesus said “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus was bold and risky. He dealt with spiritual healing by offering grace, freedom from guilt and burden. The crowd rejoiced and celebrated this good news.
Nope! The gathered crowd began to question and accused Jesus of blasphemy. He was forgiving sins which was something that only God alone could do. Jesus was bold and risky. He must be equating himself with God! Jesus apologized for speaking out of turn and then shook hands with the man.
Nope! Jesus asked them, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’, or “Stand up and walk”? There is no good answer. Jesus can say both. Jesus was bold and risky to offer grace and to bring physical healing.
How are we called to be bold and risky today? Are we called to risky persistence in our love for our friends? Are we called to offer bold grace to someone who doesn’t even ask for it? Are we called to follow Jesus even when it might be bold and risky?
Prayer: Thank you, O Lord, for those who love me with persistence. Empower me to love others with risky persistence. Thank you, O Lord, for offering grace to me with bold audacity. Empower me to offer bold grace to those who need to be released from guilt. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].