Monday, March 5, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of March 4

(Read Luke 5:27-32)

Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."  (verses 31-32)

It strikes me that Jesus uses both physical and spiritual healing imagery here.  Jesus physically healed many, like the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26.  Yet even in healing this man Jesus uses both physical and spiritual words.  In verse 20 Jesus says, "Son your sins are forgiven." and in verse 24 He says, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home!" 

Jesus heals him both physically and spiritually, and in our passage Jesus makes plain that is exactly why He came.  So what do we do with this?

If Jesus came to heal the sick and call sinners to repentance (and as He will say later in Luke 19:10 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."), then how does Jesus' mission impact the mission of the church today?

Timothy Keller writes in his book The Prodigal God, "Jesus's teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day.  However, in the main, our churches today do not have the same effect.  .... That can only mean one thing.  If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did." (pp. 15-16)

I wonder about that.  Is this true?  If so, why?  What have we missed?  And more importantly how can we recover Jesus' message?  After all, He was the one who came from the Father full of grace and truth. (see John 1:14)  How can we learn to present Jesus as He presented Himself?  Let's discuss!

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