Using The Power of The Lord?

 One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.    And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him.    But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.    Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” (Luke 5:17-20 NASB)

The power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.  This is a difficult thing to render in English from Greek because of some Greek grammatical constructions that make little sense in English.  Greek can use infinitives in much more creative ways than we can.  We have to create the sense of what they mean in English without the grammatical constructions.  So the meaning isn’t lost in English, it just sounds really weird.

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Healing Inside And Out

 While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”    And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:12,13 NASB)

This is one of my favorite accounts of Jesus healing.  There are simply very small details just in these two verses that shout out Jesus’ love for people.  We read about His love in John 3:16, where God loves the whole world.  We know at some level that this includes us as individuals, but even so, this love had to do with Jesus dying and rising for the whole world.  We suspect that to wonder or want the individual assurance or attention is selfish, but we simply cannot face our loneliness without it.  We wonder, and hope, and consider what it would be like; but we stop there, shrinking back from the appearance of self-centered living.

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Netting Disciples: Third, Provide Perspective

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”    Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”    When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break;    so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. (Luke 5:4-7 NASB)

Once Jesus had brought the party to Simon, once He had Simon captive in the boat, Jesus then deals with what seems to have captivated Simon’s mind and heart.  The sound of a tired man can almost be detected in Simon’s response to Jesus’ request to put out and fish.  The driven ambitious fisherman doesn’t have to be told twice to fish, it’s what he does.  He realizes the only thing he has to lose is sleep.  He won’t have fewer fish to sell, that’s for sure.  He obviously won’t make less money.  But he is tired, and you can sort of hear it in his word choice.

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Netting Disciples: Second, Capture Their Attention

And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. (Luke 5:3 NASB)

Simon was someone people followed.  They didn’t follow because he was perfect or kind or smart.  They followed him because he led, even if it was to nowhere, it at least had a direction.  He was driven, relentless, ambitious, and tough.  Those qualities may have made him difficult to follow, but the fact that he had a direction to go and seemed to know how to get there made up for it.  He may have been wrong, but never seemed aimless.  People like that sort of certainty, it’s comforting.  So Jesus knew that to ‘net’ the others, He had to first net Simon.

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Netting Disciples: First Bring The ‘Fun’ To Them

 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. (Luke 5:1,2 NASB)

One of the problems with following Jesus is how His requests are so unrealistic.  For instance, Simon (soon to become Peter) had heard Jesus teach, had invited Him into his home, Jesus healed his mother-in-law, and his house became the scene of many miracles performed throughout the night.  Then Jesus disappears to go about to other villages to do the same thing.  This is essentially how Luke 4 ends.  But now Jesus is back.  The crowds are following Him around, He leads them down to the Sea of Galilee, and to the boats of Simon and Zebedee.  The fishermen are tired, dejected, and busy washing nets.

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