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Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2022 9:00 am

Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 17, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. teaches about a paralytic man and his friends, all of whom were desperate to get close to Jesus. But as we’ll see in this story, as eager as they were to get to Jesus, Jesus was even more eager to extend forgiveness to them.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. Listen, I don't know who you are. I don't know what you think your greatest need is. I don't know if you feel like you need a car, a job, a spouse, a different spouse, a better roommate, healing from cancer. What you most need is forgiveness. Jesus cares about all those other things, but what you most need is forgiveness. And the good news is that that is why Jesus came. Welcome to another week of solid biblical teaching here on Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovich. Today, as we continue in our in-step teaching series through the Gospel of Luke, Pastor J.D. teaches about a paralytic man and his friends, all of whom were desperate to get close to Jesus. But as we'll soon see in this story, as eager as they were to get to Jesus, Jesus was even more eager to get to them and to extend forgiveness.

And guess what? He wants to do the same for you today. So grab your Bible and settle in. Here's Pastor J.D. Luke chapter five, if you have your Bibles.

Luke five, if you have your Bibles, we have been for several weeks and will be for several more weeks in the Gospel of Luke, looking at some of just the most basic and incredible things that Jesus taught about a revolutionary way to live and a way to know God. Luke five, over as you're turning in your Bibles there, over the break, my family and I watched an old movie that I remembered from, I think it was college age years. It's called Mrs. Doubtfire. We had to fast forward a couple of scenes in it, but it was Robin Williams at his finest. In that movie, Robin Williams plays an actor who is down on his luck and he's made a complete mess of his marriage. And so his wife leaves him.

Because his life is so chaotic, the courts give her, his wife, full custody of the kids, but he loves his kids passionately and he's desperate to see them. So he dresses up like an old English housekeeper and applies for a job as their maid, tries to fool them all about who he is so that he can see his kids every day. And I know that sounds impossible to pull off even in a movie, but that was the genius of Robin Williams. The movie is hilarious and it is sad and it is inspiring all at the same time, much, I might add, like Robin Williams' actual life. The movie illustrates something that all of us have experienced at some point. What the movie illustrates is that desperation will drive you to do some radical things, things you might never dream of doing otherwise.

I share that because that's the sense of desperation that you get in this story. And that's the lens through which you have to read this story on multiple levels. Luke 5 17. On one of those days while Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord's power to heal was in him.

Now, that's a very interesting phrase. The Lord's power was present to heal. The New King James Version translates that phrase as the power of the Lord was present at that moment to heal. The Spirit of God, in other words, was present in that moment in a very special way, ready to heal if somebody would ask for it. And Jesus was, of course, unusually sensitive to the Holy Spirit. And so he knew that's what the Spirit wanted to do. And so he was ready to grant that for anybody who was bold enough and had the sensitivity to ask for it. When Jesus carried out his ministry on earth, he did his miracles to the power of the Spirit. And Luke is trying to show you that same power is available to you.

So he's saying it was present in an unusual way in that moment. Verse 18. Just then some men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof. And they lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd right in front of Jesus.

When you are ripping the roof off of a place to get access to somebody, that's desperation. Verse 20. Seeing their faith, their faith. That's an important detail we're gonna come back to, seeing their faith. If you underline stuff in your Bible, underline the word there. He said, friend, your sins are forgiven.

To which I imagine the friends probably said, well, okay. I mean, that's awesome. Sins forgiven is always a good thing. That's certainly better than your sins aren't forgiven. But doesn't this guy have a more desperate problem right now? And isn't it kind of obvious what he really needs and why we lowered him through the roof? Isn't his real need pretty obvious in Jesus's response?

Was no. He does not have a more urgent need than the forgiveness of sins. Verse 21. Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think of themselves.

Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Because who can forgive sins but God alone? Now, that's a fair question, right?

I explained this a few weeks ago. The only way it would make sense for Jesus to forgive sins is if Jesus considered himself to be the one who was sinned against. You don't forgive things that do not involve you.

And we all get that, right? Let me say you and your spouse or your roommate had a terrible fight last night. And they said some of the meanest, rudest things that anybody has ever said to you.

And you are furious and you are hurt and their words left you wondering how you can even continue on in a relationship with somebody who who thinks much less says things like they said about you. And this morning you got up and you came on to church and of course you put on the church act for everybody. How are you? Oh blessed and highly favored brother.

How are you? But inside you are seething and you are waiting until you get home so you can just let them have it. Well after church as you guys are leaving I walk up to that person in your presence and I look at them and I say I know about your fight last night and I know what you said to her and I just want you to know that you are forgiven for that you don't have to feel bad about that anymore. You would probably look at me and say uh excuse me pastor this has got nothing to do with you. You might be a pastor but you can't forgive something that wasn't done to you and you would be correct. When Jesus forgave sins and they said who can forgive sins but God alone Jesus said ding ding ding you got it and forgiving sins he was claiming to be God.

Does that make sense? I point that out because every once in a while you'll hear somebody a new testament professor in college or or somebody say that in the earliest gospels Matthew Mark and Luke which were each written about 20 to 30 years after Jesus's death they'll say Jesus never really claimed to be God in those earlier writings right. That was something only the apostle John who wrote his gospel about 20 years after the others that was something only John claimed that Jesus did and they say that that was something John added to try and get people to worship Jesus to beef up his claims which which from the beginning the earliest Christians didn't think he was God. In the earliest days these scholars will say they only thought of Jesus as a prophet and then John comes along and added the stuff about him being God.

I point this out because you can see right here in the gospel of Luke that that accusation is not true in forgiving sins or in allowing himself to be worshiped or in claiming to be the temple that the presence of God dwelt in Jesus is claiming to be God and everybody understood that so they started to whisper to themselves blasphemy verse 22 verse 22 but perceiving their thoughts Jesus replied to them why are you why are you thinking this in your hearts which is easier to say which is easier to say your sins are forgiven or to say get up and walk now that's a good question let me ask you what do you think what is easier to say is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or is it easier to say to a lame man get up and walk well clearly it is easier to say your sins are forgiven why well because you can't tell whether or not it happened but if I say to a lame man walk then you can tell right away whether I've got the power that I'm claiming to have if I say get up and walk to a lame man and and he doesn't do it you know right away that I'm a phony so see Jesus logic goes like this we know that forgiving sins and making the lame walk are both things that only God can do so if I say to a lame man get up and walk and he does it then it's safe to say that that if I say to him your sins are forgiven I can do that also if I can do the verifiable one then you can trust me that I can do the unverifiable one as well do you follow his logic in showing that he has the power to make this lame man walk he's also proving he has the power to make good on his promise to forgive sins you see what he says next verse 24 but so that you may know that the son of man has that authority on earth to forgive sins let me do the thing that you can verify he tells the paralyzed man I tell you get up take every stretcher and go home verse 25 and immediately he got up before then he picked up what he had been lying on and he went home glorifying God my title for this story is Jesus heals a ceiling fan see what I did there right he's a fan of Jesus coming through the roof and Jesus heals him right some of you will think about that all day and you will get that later that's just my little gift to you verse 26 then everybody was astounded and they were giving glory to God and they were filled with all and they said we have seen incredible things today yes they had indeed there are two main things that I want us to see in this story these are two very distinct ideas but I think they're both really important for us right now and they both center around this theme of desperation they are our desperate and the other side of the auditorium laugh which means they just got the ceiling fan reference they are number one our desperate need and they are number two our desperate faith our desperate need and our desperate faith let's look firstly at our desperate need at first Jesus has offered to forgive this guy sins almost seems a little cruel I mean at best just insensitive doesn't it I mean isn't it obvious what this guy wants right here is a crippled man lying on a bed in front of Jesus yet Jesus just ignores that and goes straight for forgiveness isn't that insensitive and a little tone deaf but what if Jesus saw that this man's greatest need greater than his need for healing was his need for forgiveness this guy is desperate to be healed but Jesus is even more desperate to see him restored to God that is the constant theme of Jesus's ministry in Luke people yearn for physical relief to their pain Jesus yearns in an almost frantic way to see them restored to God in Luke 15 he is the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one that is lost he's the desperate widow who searches her entire house from top to bottom to find a lost coin he is the scorned father who stands at the gate anxiously waiting for his prodigal son to come home who runs with abandon when he finally sees his son coming in Luke 13 Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and says oh Jerusalem how many times I've wanted just to get you to turn to me in Luke 19 Jesus summarizes his entire ministry as saying I've come to seek to desperately go after to search for and save at the cost of my life those who are lost so let me ask you as we go into 2021 what do you think the greatest need of your life is here's my question what if your greatest need is different than your most pressing desire what if your greatest need is different than your most pressing desire what if the greatest most pressing need of your life is the need for forgiveness and maybe even me saying that strikes you as insensitive I mean maybe you're sitting here and you've been wronged or you've been really hurt maybe you've been abused and you you listen to me and you say how dare you say that I need forgiveness I'm the one who's been wronged sure I need to learn to forgive the person who wronged me and I'm struggling with that but but it seems insensitive for you to say that I my greatest need is forgiveness also well you're partially right I understand that but but listen to Jesus's wisdom this is really quite practical if you've really been wronged what you need most is a way to forgive those who wronged you to be able to be released from the bitterness that will consume you and guess what you can't ever forgive heinous wrongs unless you've experienced great forgiveness yourself embracing forgiveness from God enables you to forgive others it may be true that you've been wronged but it's also true that all of us have wronged God far more than any of us have ever been wronged and realizing that and embracing that grants you the power to forgive others forgiveness and experience of forgiveness turns bitter water in your heart it turns it sweet listen I don't know who you are I don't know what you think your greatest need is I don't know what you would love for God to change most I don't know if you feel like you need a car a job a spouse a different spouse a better roommate healing from cancer what you most need is forgiveness Jesus cares about all those other things I'm going to show you that in a minute because he the way he heals this guy but what you most need is forgiveness and the good news is that that is why Jesus came that's why he first offered forgiveness to a lame man lying before him in a stretcher before healing his legs it's why ultimately the trajectory of Jesus life was toward a cross Jesus main purpose on earth was not to teach great morals or to do great miracles his main purpose was to go to a cross to pay the price for our forgiveness Jesus main ministry was not what he taught to us it's what he did for us saying your sins are forgiven was not just a blessing that he uttered flippantly forgiveness of sins was something he purchased by his blood his death on the cross is why he can say to you I forgive your sins there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stain and he proved that he had the ability to make good on that offer to forgive you if you like well I don't know if you don't know exactly what I've done you don't know what I carry into this year and and I'm not sure he's got the power to do that he proved it by raising from the dead if the apostle Paul said that one of the main purposes of the resurrection was to show that Jesus has claimed to be dying for our sins was true so don't just believe Jesus has the power to forgive because he says so believe him because he demonstrated the power to back that up you see here's the deal if he could make the lame walk and he could command the waves and the the wind to cease and he could bring dead men out of the grave and then he could come back from the dead himself well see that means he can make good on his promise to forgive your sins the dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day there may I the vilest he wash all our sins away all my sins away there is a power and forgiveness you can be sure of because Jesus backed it up with these kind of miracles and mainly by resurrecting from the dead so you've got your desperate need second in this story we've got number two our desperate faith our desperate faith I pointed this out as we as we were reading the story verse 20 verse 20 says that when Jesus saw their faith he said their faith then he said your sins are forgiven rise up and walk according to Luke Jesus did this miracle not so much because of the lame man's faith he did it because of the faith of his friends on behalf of their faith on behalf of their desperate faith Jesus healed him now you say well why doesn't why doesn't the man just ask for it himself I don't know doesn't tell us maybe he was so sick that he could barely speak anymore maybe he'd just been lame for so long that he'd given up hope he just stopped believing the future could be any different and so into that gap into that void of despair their faith not his their faith stepped in and said no I believe Jesus is good and I believe he cares about you and I believe he will help you it was their faith that loaded him up into that stretcher and carried him out to where Jesus was it was their faith that pushed its way through the crowd it was their faith that spawned the ingenuity to go to the top of the house and tear open the roof above Jesus head it was their faith that made them ignore all the people who were yelling hey what are you doing or ignore the guy who was like hey get off my roof you can't do that to my roof it was their faith that set that man down expectantly at Jesus feet as if to say Jesus what are you going to do about this write this down when the paralyzed man could do little for himself it was the active faith of his friends that made the difference when the paralyzed man could do little for himself it was the active faith of his friends that made the difference hey pay attention what is Luke trying to teach us he's trying to teach us that sometimes the faith of somebody around us is so weak that we have to believe for them and maybe that comes for you in the form of a prodigal child who is confused and a stop seeking God and maybe departed from all the things you try to teach them when they grew up in your house and so you're the one you're the one on your knees every night pleading with God to awaken them in their spiritually paralyzed state and you're the one that's bringing into Jesus and you're the one tearing open the roof and you're the one laying down at Jesus feet and saying master please do something because they've even lost their ability to ask maybe it's a spouse or a friend or a co-worker and God has placed you in their lives because they're too spiritually weak to pray for themselves maybe they've just given up on the marriage or maybe they've given up hope and so see you got to fight your way through the crowd and you got to do all the work to open up that roof and you got to believe God for them in the new testament this special urgency to pray that drive to tear open a roof and lay a person down at Jesus feet believing that he will heal them that understanding that the power of Jesus is present to heal that's a spiritual gift called the gift of faith it is a gift listen otherwise you'll get confused it's a gift that God gives in different degrees at different times when he wants to do something in somebody's life it's a gift he gives when his power is present to heal it comes in different amounts at different times to people who are walking with the spirit it's a gift we honestly don't talk about enough at our church but one I really want you to recognize and embrace I read a book a couple of years ago by written by a friend named Sam Storms Sam Storms who really helped me get my mind around this the book is called Practicing the Power Dr. Storms he says that when the new testament uses the word faith it uses the word faith in three different ways and unless you recognize the three different uses of the word faith you will probably get confused first he said you've got salvation faith that's the faith that embraces Christ as Lord and Savior Ephesians 2 8 it is by grace that you have been saved through faith all Christians all Christians have that kind of faith that's what makes us Christians second he says you've got sustaining faith sustaining faith is the general confidence that God is present that he's with us he will never leave us or forsake us it's confidence in his goodness confidence that he is in control and sovereignly working all things for good that's typically what people mean when they say so and so has strong faith we mean that they have an unshakable confidence in God's plan again all Christians should have this at all times but there's a third kind of faith Dr. Storms says I think points out correctly from the new testament and that is the spiritual gift of faith and that is what you see here in this story at work it's a special bestowal of faith that God gives to certain Christians at certain times because he wants to do something miraculous through you or around you or in you God put in the hearts of these friends to ask for a miracle who around you has God put on your heart to pray for a friend a prodigal child God has put you in a place to stand in the gap for someone obey the urge that you have to pray for that person that God has put on your heart you're listening to Pastor J.D. Greer on Summit Life today's message is quickly titled Jesus Heals a Ceiling Fan if you'd like to catch up on previous messages or if you want to view the transcripts you can find them free of charge online at jdgreer.com while you're on the website you can find a whole host of resources including a weekly podcast called Ask Me Anything J.D. can you tell us a little bit about it yeah you know this has been a great new resource I've wanted to do it for a long time um you know for in just the way God wired me thinking about trying to give short answers to really difficult questions some of these I get asked on college campuses some of them I get asked at coffee shops sometimes they come in the form of email sometimes it's one of my kids that are asking me these questions and just over I guess a lifetime trying to figure out how to take complex biblical answers or what we call apologetic answers for the Christian faith and to put them in bite-sized chunks and to put the cookies on the bottom shelf so to speak so we started this podcast a while ago and it's really seemed to connect with people you'll find questions like how do you think about global warming to hate of the genesis narratives are they literal what are good answers we have for an atheist one of the most recent ones was what's the deal with Nicolas Cage because people had written in just said hey you always seem to bring up Nicolas Cage what are you really a big fan so I think you'll find quite an array of answers there I think that could be helpful a lot of times listeners will tell us they'll listen to one and pass it on to somebody that they knew asked that question I dad was telling me the other day I answered a question about like hey how should Christians think about dating and he said man it was so helpful I passed it on to my 15 year old daughter and just said hey here's a here's a short mercifully short eight to ten minute answer on on the biblical essentials of dating so that and a lot of others if you'll go to our website jdgrier.com or just go to your favorite podcasting app and you can you can find it there called ask me anything with J.D. Greer if it helps you leave us a rating there in the app or share it with somebody else or reach out to us here at jdgrier.com or if you have your own question just submit it to us because it might make something other people enjoy hearing an answer to as well thank you so much J.D. in just about 10 minutes give or take pastor J.D. tackles some sticky questions from listeners like you such as what is an idol or where is the devil at work today there are so many questions and issues out there that you might not be able to find a direct verse to answer but there are still biblical guidelines and wisdom that we can apply and that's a lot of what he tackles on this podcast check it out at jdgrier.com and while you're checking out the site you can also preview our latest resource one of our goals is to equip everyone who listens to summit life to be disciple making disciples and developing healthy spiritual disciplines is an important part of that so we've created a pack of 50 memory verse cards for you to carry or display throughout this next year helping you to remember god's promises and hide them in your heart memorizing scripture gives believers a great opportunity to not only share these truths with other believers and encourage them to live in obedience and fight temptation it's also essential as we share our faith with others and make jesus known in our spheres of influence we'd love to get you a set of these cards today and they come with our thanks when you donate to support this program summit life is kept on the radio and online by listeners like you so when you tune in you've got another listener to thank for this message and you can extend that gift to someone else by doing your part to keep this program going give today and remember to ask for your set of the rejoice always scripture memory cards call 866-335-5220 that's 866-335-5220 or you can donate and request the set online at jdgrier.com i'm molly vidovich inviting you to listen again tuesday as we dive a bit deeper into luke chapter five pastor jd shows us that our greatest need is forgiveness and jesus is even more desperate to offer to us than we are to receive it see you tuesday on summit life today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-23 08:11:57 / 2023-06-23 08:22:12 / 10

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