Daily Update #176

Hello Everyone, I hope you are well. This morning we are looking at two passages in particular. A familiar healing story in Luke 5:17-26 and some verses from Psalm 85, that speaks of restoration. First let’s look at these ancient promises and remember God’s plan coming to fruition.

Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

The last verse in this psalm, speaks about God’s righteousness going ahead of him, seeking and finding hearts to heal and save. It was written by the Sons of Korah, who were the spared sons of a rebellious Levite family that opposed Moses .They had personally witnessed the power of God in judgment, but in their song they look forward to the kindness of God and to being restored.

When we read Luke’s account of the healing of the paralytic. We are probably focused upon the friend’s fantastic efforts to secure their friend’s chance to be healed. But also we see the power of God is present too, with Jesus to accompany and underline his authority to bring healing. The qualities of God combine to bring healing and salvation. As Jesus’s ministry expanded we have become used to this, but here, in one of the earlier healings, Luke combines these two ideas, authority and power to heal the paralytic, underlining the authenticity of Jesus’s mission.

What stood out to me though is what Jesus says to the Pharisees observing the scene. Confronted with such power and claims they are reasoning about what this might mean. Now let;’s not forget they have centuries of the Law and Scripture to draw from God’s promises. But they draw instead from a place of fear, rather than rejoicing, of comfort rather than faith.

Jesus knows their thoughts, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” It is said that an argument will convince a reasonable man, and proof will convince an unreasonable man. What more do they need? How much would we need to be reminded….? The challenge for Christians is to live in knowledge that we are loved by The Father, and saved by Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, because when we enter life through Jesus Christ our status, like the paralytic, is radically changed and begins to transform.

Let’s not be hard. I suspect in many ways we might have been the same, in spite even of years of walking with God. Years of ministry have taught me that our ability to remember the promises of God and believe upon them is often our greatest challenge. Reminding ourselves that we have been forgiven can take a lot, but we have the voice of scripture and the proof of the resurrection to assure us. The Pharisees let doubt speak for them, we should hold to the words of Jesus Christ, as the Psalm says, verse 8, I will listen to what God the LORD will say.

Little and often, every day.