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DECEMBER 7| LUKE 5:17-32

Updated: Dec 9, 2023


 

DAILY READING


 

Sit Down or Get Up?

by Kristin Schoeff


Are you a “sit-and-analyze” person, or a “get-up-and-go-and-think-later” type? Both have their positive aspects, as well as their shortcomings. Today’s passage shows these two approaches to Jesus and his ministry in sharp contrast. Let’s take a look....


As the story opens, Jesus is publicly teaching, and a crowd has gathered. Many may have been impressed that Pharisees and teachers of the law “from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem” (v. 17) had come to learn from what Jesus had to say. Or had they? It’s notable that they are described as just “sitting there.” (v. 17) Psalm 1:1 comes to mind—those who sit “in the seat of scoffers.” (ESV) Soon, it becomes clear that they came not so much to hear from Jesus as to critique and criticize his words and actions. And so they sit there….


Next we see some men bringing their paralyzed friend to the scene in hopes that he would be miraculously healed by Jesus. I’m not sure how you carry a grown man on a stretcher up onto a roof, dismantle the tile roof and lower him down right in front of Jesus—but they did it! So when Jesus “saw their faith” (v. 20), did he heal this man immediately? No. His response seems odd at first: he called the paralyzed man “friend” and he forgave his sins.


Jesus revealed at that moment his most important priority and mission: his love for people and his authority to forgive our sins. Not surprisingly, the Pharisees and teachers “began thinking to themselves” (v. 21) that Jesus was out of line, claiming the power to do what only God can do. They missed the message because they were just sitting there, critiquing and scoffing.


Then Jesus spoke simple words to the paralytic—“Get up and go home.” And IMMEDIATELY he GOT UP, grabbed his mat and went home, praising God as he went. No stopping to reason or argue or decide if this was really God’s doing. Jesus spoke, and as the man responded to those words. He was freed from his brokenness inside and out.

Levi, the tax collector, had a similar response to Jesus in verses 27-32. Jesus spoke simple words—“Follow me”—and Levi’s response was to get up (v. 28), leave everything, and follow Jesus. Without hesitation, Levi hears, gets up, and goes. And Jesus once again declares his heart and mission—“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”


When Jesus speaks to our hearts by the Holy Spirit—through his written word or through that “still small voice”—let us be quick to get up and follow where he leads us. His motive is unending love and a desire to forgive our shortcomings and heal our brokenness.


PRAYER

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your amazing love that caused you to get up and leave Heaven’s glory and come to earth to call us to repentance and eternal life. Help us hear your voice when you call us, get up and follow you. Amen.






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