Posted by: Jo | June 29, 2012

Move a Mountain

Face to Face with Jesus (Part 2 of 10)

“They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4)

imageWe are continuing to explore the recorded occurrences of where Jesus meets people face to face and the importance of these meetings and what they mean to us in our own spiritual walk and how they are relevant to our everyday life.

So, two fascinating encounters to delve into today. Two men with similar problems come face to face with Jesus. Both are unable to walk and have been reduced to relying on others for all their needs, but here the similarity ends. The first man is filled with self pity. The second man has such faithful friends that they overcome huge obstacles to bring their friend to Jesus. The first man does not even know who Jesus is. The second man is relying totally on his friends’ faith and yet they are both healed by their compassionate Saviour. Why are these two stories faithfully recorded for us and what is the message for us to absorb and to apply to our own lives?

The first man’s story is found in John 5:1 – 15.

The first puzzling question for us is why Jesus chose this particular man to speak to as we are told there were a great number of disabled people lying beside the pool that day. imagePerhaps the first insight we gain from this is that Jesus seeks us out at that very moment that we are ready to accept his healing touch. This man may have been at the lowest point of his life. Thirty eight years of hoping for healing from a mythical source had drained all his hope. He may have exhausted any avenues of help from family or friends. Jesus asks him, to our ears, a very strange question, “…Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) We expect the man to reply with a resounding “YES!” but the yes is not forthcoming. He babbles a lame excuse about nobody helping him. How often we may have had excuses ready for why we are still in a situation that definitely needs the intervention of Jesus to heal it. Jesus really startles us with his next directive to the man,”… Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8) What a wonderful reminder for us. Healing of any kind from pain/sorrow/broken relationship/hurt feelings/rejection whatever is crippling us, needs first that coming into Jesus’ presence and then having the courage to take the first step ourselves, trusting in his promises and discarding that old mat we have been clinging to for so long.

The second man’s story is found in Luke 5:17 – 26

This story is a wonderful example of true friendship. What incredible friends this particular paralytic has. They know he needs to meet Jesus, but the obstacles are many. First of all he needs to be carried to go anywhere, but when they get to the imagehouse where Jesus is teaching the crowds block their way. Not daunted they climb on the roof of course, still having to carry their friend, and after all this have to remove tiles to lower their friend right at Jesus’ feet. Jesus again surprises us by what he says, after noting the great faith of the friends, he says to the man, “…Friend, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20) We would assume his physical healing would come first, but Jesus knew exactly what the man needed to hear and physical healing follows. We may have friends we would love to bring into Jesus’ presence. This story of faith is a good one to reread over and over again when we seem to come against all sorts of barriers in getting them to Jesus. Our faith can be a rock for others until they hear for themselves, “Your sins are forgiven”. Another interesting message comes out of this story. When the crowd witness this amazing healing they are in awe, “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God…” (Luke 5:26) This is the outcome all of us want to see. We do not hear the crowd praising those friends, but giving praise rightly so to the only One who could bring about this miracle.

Next week we are invited to dinner at a rich Pharisees‘ house, where we will see two vastly different reactions to being face to face with Jesus.

Personal Reflection

Which of these two stories touch you the most?

Is the Lord asking you to take that first step out of a crippling situation and trust him that you can make it?

Or has the Lord asked you to have faith that even though great obstacles are in the way, you can bring that friend to him?

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Responses

  1. Wonderful reminders Jo I loved both stories and can relate to both
    much love Jennifer

    Like


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