Strange Things

Part 1

Strange Things - Sun April 17pm

26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

– Luke 5:26 KJV

A man afflicted with the palsy was too weak to even get off his bed much less walk. The Bible doesn’t elaborate how long he had been suffering. Maybe he used to work in the marketplace, or he could have been a fisherman, or even a scribe in the temple. Now he was good for nothing…worthless, rejected, and stripped of all his dignity.

For whatever reason, four men were burdened to help this crippled man. We don’t know if they were just passing by or if they had known him for years. Moved with compassion, the foursome recognized the established religion of the day was doing nothing to help the sick man. He had no help and no hope! The poor man was snubbed by society and condemned to lay there and die!

The four men must have been inspired when they heard the stories about Jesus. How did a man have the authority to cast out demons? Could He really heal the sick? All the religious leaders they ever knew only cared about themselves. At least Jesus reached out to the hopeless and hurting.

News was out Jesus was preaching in a house in Capernaum. If they could just get the lame man inside where he could be seen, then Jesus would at least do something. Perhaps they weren’t sure what would happen, but something was better than nothing. What did they have to lose? But the man was so feeble they would have to carry him on his bed.

The house was crammed full of people trying to see Jesus. Even the doorways and windows were blocked. Can’t you just imagine the four men pressing through the crowd carrying this man and his bed? “Pardon me, please. This man desperately needs a touch! Jesus is his only hope. Won’t you please let us in?”

People from all walks of life came to see Jesus. From near and far they came to hear what He had to say…

17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Luke 5:17

Even “…Pharisees and doctors of the law…” were there listening, critiquing Jesus’ every word, waiting for an opportunity to accuse Him. Surely the four men recognized some of these social elites as they struggled to maneuver the bed through the crowd. You have to wonder if the four men maybe mumbled as they passed, “You watched this poor man suffer and never did anything to help him. Let’s see what Jesus will do!”

The crowd wouldn’t budge! Nevertheless, the men’s faith in Jesus began to rise! The four would get this man in somehow, someway…Desperate times call for desperate measures!

 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

Luke 5:19

What? Shoulder a lame man and his bed up on a roof! Bust the stone tiles up to make a hole big enough to lower him down! Wow! Who would go to all that trouble to get inside?

Just imagine the crowd intently listening to Jesus, when suddenly…. THUMP! Clunk! Click! Clack! It was hard to ignore the click-clacking of the footsteps on the stone roof above. Then the pounding, banging, snapping, and cracking of tiles!

Were they crazy enough to cut a hole in the roof? No not crazy…just desperately needing Jesus. The four men weren’t worrying about what the crowd thought. Their eyes were focused on touching Jesus and getting His attention.

Have you been there before? Nobody understands your pain and sorrow. Nothing satisfies the emptiness you feel inside. You desperately need a change of circumstance.

How hungry are you for Jesus? Do you trust Him for everything? Would you go to such drastic measures to be in His presence?

We have seen strange things today…

Were the four men and the sick man the only ones in this large crowd of people needing a touch from the Lord? I’m certain there were others just as dissatisfied with their circumstances. I’m sure there were others in the crowd that day longing for peace and joy. Religion had failed them! Many were yearning to be healed physically and spiritually.

Why didn’t more recognize “…the power of the Lord was present to heal them”? Were they not hungry enough or desperate enough to go to such drastic measures? Were they afraid to make a scene? Or could it be they feared publicly challenging the religion of the day? The religious leaders…they were very intimidating.

20 And when [Jesus] saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Luke 5:20

The power of the Lord was present to heal them! Yet the scribes and Pharisees immediately protested… They were so smug and content, too calloused to even recognize who Jesus was or what He could do. They were too busy analyzing and scrutinizing, so consumed with themselves and their positions that they missed the God of all Heaven!

Jesus said,

24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

Luke 5:24

Right away the feeble man obeyed! He picked up his bed and walked out of the crowded house glorifying the Lord!

26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Luke 5:26

We have seen strange things today…

In an instant, the crowd witnessed the transformation! The symptoms of palsy involved more than just paralysis. The painfully shriveled up limbs, hands, and feet of the man were fully restored back to health. A crippled man healed by the power of God! That certainly was an extraordinary, strange thing!

We have seen strange things today…

The four men went above and beyond what was normal. They recognized the withered man’s only hope was Jesus. The men could’ve given up, but were determined to lay his bed at the feet of Jesus. It was strange what they were willing to do to get one man to Jesus.

Can you say that about your life? Can you say it about your church? Like these four men, are you willing to do whatever it takes to lead people (or just one soul) to Christ? Are you willing to surrender your plans to God’s will…to give up your time and efforts for the cause of Christ?

 The crowd was so caught up in their own agenda that day and refused to move to help a desperate, hurting soul get to Jesus. That didn’t stop the work of God though! Help us Lord to never be so consumed by our own selves that we hinder the work of God.

It’s not about religion! It’s not about church programs! It’s not about you or me!

Jesus said,

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 12:32

It’s all about pointing lost, hurting souls to the Cross of Calvary! Not just to be healed physically, but to be made whole by the blood of Jesus Christ. God wants to use your life to lift up Christ. Not just in your church, but at home, on the job, in school, on the street…wherever you go. All you have to do is let Jesus live in you, lift Him up, and He will do the rest.

We have seen strange things today…

The power of God was present to heal them, but only five men even acknowledged it! God longs to save souls, to deliver people from sin, to heal the sick, to restore marriages and broken homes. God wants to move in our midst so that He will be glorified. Like the crowd, how often is the power of God in our midst, yet so many walk away unchanged?

Strange things don’t happen to congregations or religious people! Strange things happen to people that aren’t content with the norm…people that aren’t satisfied with just going to church, singing a few songs, and listening to a sermon. What about you? Has serving God become just a Sunday morning ritual?

Strange things happen to those that are so desperate they will do anything to get to Jesus. Is that you? Is Jesus your everything?

Strange things are for those that are sold out and committed to spreading the gospel! Are you willing to sacrifice all you have to lay others at the foot of the cross?

But I have no talent, nothing to offer God.

God made you just the way you are for a purpose: to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ! God doesn’t need your talents or gifts. He wants someone who’s willing! It’s God’s desire to use each and every one of us to lead a lost and dying world to Jesus Christ! Not by your power, but by the power of God living in you!

Would you share Jesus and let your light shine to point others to Christ?

But you can’t share something you don’t have!

If you don’t know Jesus as Lord, you can. Or maybe you knew Jesus at one time, but got busy or distracted and left your first love. Either way, Jesus loves you and is patiently waiting for you to surrender. All it takes is a simple prayer to be free from your guilt and shame, to feel the peace and love of God cover you, to know you have a heavenly home.

Jesus, I know I am a sinner in need of a savior. Please come into my heart today and be my Lord. I want to be a part of the Kingdom of God!

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