Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Luke 5

Jesus calls his first disciples. Notice that Luke's version of the call of Peter, Andrew, James and John has a bit more detail than the other gospels. We have Jesus borrowing Peter's boat to teach and then the great two boat full catch of fish. Jesus' promise to Simon is a promise of leadership. You will no longer be fishing for fish but will be fishing for people.

The healing of the leper (12-16) has one remarkable element to it. In Jesus time it was believed that if you touched something that was ceremonially unclean it made you unclean. Since leprosy was considered the greatest of uncleanness it would have been unthinkable to touch a leper. Notice verse 13 "Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said . . ." Jesus was not bound by their restrictions. Jesus changes this understanding by noting that when the holy touches the unholy the holy is not defiled, rather the unholy is made holy. He demonstrates this in a multitude of ways (like touching people, hanging out with know "sinners and tax collectors" etc).

The healing of the paralytic (17-26) has some wonderful elements to it. Jesus claims to be able to forgive sins -- a prerogative reserved for God alone. The fun part for me is the faith of the man's four friends. What faith is required to dig a hole through someone else's roof to lower your friend into the presence of Jesus. Don't we all need someone who would go that far for us? I am blessed to have three brothers who are holding the rope for me -- who is holding the rope for you and drawing you into the presence of Jesus.

The call of Levi (27-32) has one feature. Notice that after Levi becomes a disciple his first act is to invite all of his friends and co workers over to his house to meet Jesus. When was the last time any of us invited all of the non Christians in our world to a party with the sole intent of helping them get to know Jesus?

The chapter ends with the cloth and wine skins illustration. The point is simple. Each new move of the Spirit will have new structures, new music, new technology, new methods. Putting the new wind of the Spirit into old structures causes breakage and heartache. The new move of the Spirit needs new structures to help it grow and to nurture it properly.

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