When we are convinced that Jesus is that only answer, and indeed the first and last resort, the crowds would not scare us away. That was the conviction of the men who carried the paralytic in Luke 5: 17-26. And that should be our conviction too.
17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the lawwere sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Luke 5: 17-26 (New International Version – NIV)
For the paralyzed man and his friends in the gospel passage, to get to see Jesus is almost next to impossible, given the crowds. Yet their determination found a way to Jesus.
Here, we see in the paralyzed man and his friends a determined human unity, a human solidarity seeking healing and salvation. This was a sign of a hopeful human race, and Jesus came to fulfill that hope. It was the same hope that the prophet Isaiah talked about in chapter 35:1-10, when he said – Courage! Do not be afraid.
Indeed, we need the courage and hope to believe that conversion is possible. No human situation is a hopeless situation as long as Jesus is there. Whether it is a crowd or just an individual, Jesus will still come to forgive, to heal and to save us.
Peace and Joy
Written by Rev. Fr. Courage Dogbey
Prayer (Our Conviction)
Father, help us to firmly hold on to Your word. To continue to see You us our Shepherd, Father and King. As long as You are in us and we in You, no situation is hopeless. Amen
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