Thursday, February 05, 2009

Breaking Down Barriers

I am getting SO much out of my study of the Gospel of Luke.  This Sunday's passage will zero in on the story of the paralytic who was lowered by four friends through the roof to be healed by Jesus. 

But just prior to that story is the story of a man who had leprosy.  He violated the Law of Moses by not keeping his distance and not crying out, "Unclean."  Jesus never corrected him for this, by the way.  He falls at Jesus' feet.  He doesn't question Jesus' ability to heal him.  What he questions is Jesus' willingness:  "If you are WILLING, you CAN make me clean."

Jesus could have spoken the word, "Be healed" -- and he would have been.  But Jesus "reached out his hand and touched the man.  "I AM WILLING," he said.  "Be clean!"

The touch of Jesus.  It was TOTALLY not essential to the miracle.  But it WAS so important.  There are many things that would keep us from touching people today.  BARRIERS.  In whatever form they take, those barriers prevent us from being Jesus to the world.

I have too many barriers in my life.  I am a daily work in progress.  But I want to become more like Jesus, and that means not being satisfied to leave those barriers in place.     


Jeff said...

I love the story of the paralyzed man and his friends. What a great story of faith to believe it was worth it to dig a hole through the roof - to even carry their friend however far they had to go - just to be in the presence of Jesus. It doesn't appear they hoped Jesus would heal him or might be able to heal him, the KNEW and BELIEVED in who Jesus was.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many times I've preached that passage, but I know at least three.
In each sermon I've attempted to look at it from different perspectives: (1) Jesus as He was surrounded by critics (2) the faith of the men who carried the paralytic, and (3) the paralyzed man himself.
It's an amazing testimony of faith: not only our faith in the Lord, but Jesus' faithfulness in reaching out to mankind.
**sorry if this got too preachy

randy said...

Jesus is willing . . .