This week we have been looking at Luke 5:17-26. Monday we looked at an overview of the passage. Tuesday we looked at the paralytic. Yesterday we looked at the four men that helped him. Today I want to look at some of the other people that were present when this was going on.
The Scribes and Pharisees.
These were the “church people” of the day. Not just that, but they were the leaders of the Jewish church. Yet when they witnessed the miraculous healing of this man they did not celebrate. They had no joy for the new life that this man had been given. Instead the complained about HOW Jesus healed the man. They were more interested in what Jesus said, the methods he used, than they were with the fact that this man had been healed.
As the church we are often this way. We will look at a church that is reaching lost people and we complain about HOW they do it. We will complain about the way they dress or the music they play or the way their building is designed or decorated. We will complain about the way that the pastor preaches or what he wears or his lack of education. Rather than celebrating the many people that are being healed through salvation we complain about HOW this church is bringing people to Jesus.
Unlike the scribes and pharisees we should be more interested in the results than the methods. You see the Gospel has never changed. It has been the same for nearly 2000 years. But, during that time the methods used to share that gospel have been continually changing. I have often heard that the message never changes, but the methods MUST change. Paul went so far as to say that he became all things to all people so that some might be saved.
When the four men first approached the house with their friend, they were unable to enter the building because of the crowd. This crowd unknowingly served to prevent this man from getting to Jesus. They were there listening to Jesus’ teaching. This was good, BUT they were so focused on getting themselves fed that they failed to recognize the needs of this man. They were so focused on themselves that they didn’t even realize that they were actually PREVENTING this man from coming to Jesus.
As the church we sometimes do the same thing. In our efforts to ensure that WE get what WE need, we actually stand in the way of people coming to Jesus. Sometimes this comes in the form of worship services that cater to the believer to the point that the non-believer doesn’t feel comfortable even entering. Sometimes this is when we spend time criticizing other churches instead of loving on them or on our lost neighbors. Regardless of HOW we are preventing people from coming to Christ, as the church we need to constantly look to see if there are things that we are doing that are actually keeping people from Jesus.
How can we know? Well, it is unlikely that someone is going to cut a hole in the roof of our church and drop someone down in front of Jesus. BUT, it is possible that there will be people around us that are going around us to reach the lost people in our area. If there is a church or organization that does things differently from you and seems to be reaching the lost people in your area, then maybe you need to reconsider some of the things that you are doing.
At the end of the day reaching lost people is the number one reason that the church exists. Even the things that we do to serve and grow other believers we do so that they will be better equipped to reach the lost. If this is our primary purpose and we are not seeing people getting saved in our churches, then we need reevaluate what we are doing.Matt Norman
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