We Have Seen Strange Things Today!

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What had started as perhaps just an ordinary day for us, had become a day with a most unusual happening. We had been hearing strange stories of a rabbi in town. Everyone said he was a different sort of rabbi. His teaching was captivating, his demeanor was gentle and kind, but something was uncommon. We decided today we take some time off to see if we could find out more.
Our search led us to the seaside village of Capernaum. The little village seemed to be buzzing with excitement - Jesus was in town. We found the house and made our way inside. Many people had already gathered. It was clear that there would shortly be standing room only. There were other ordinary folks like us there. But many were Pharisees and doctors of the law who had arrived from every town in Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem.
A hush fell over the crown. The Teacher was speaking. We listened intently, oblivious to the noises outside as more and more people scuffled, trying to squeeze through the door to listen. But suddenly noises from above interrupted the moment. A hole appeared in the ceiling. A head poked through, looking around, surveying the crowd. More noise—a bigger hole. Four heads peaked through, and then a bed. The already compact crowd squeezed together even more as the bed was slowly lowered by four men holding ropes attached the corners of the bed. A paralyzed man lay on the bed.
Along with the rest of the crowd, we stared and held our breath to see what would happen next. Jesus tenderly looked at the man. He looked up at the four heads still gazing through the gaping hole in the roof.
“And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:20-26).
What was it that day that was so unusual, uncommon, and unexpected?
We saw an unusual Man. He was a teacher and rabbi, but not an ordinary man. Luke 5:17 says that “the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” Not only did He have the power to heal every physical sickness, He had the power to forgive sin.
Have my eyes been opened to see Jesus as more than ordinary? When I met with Him this morning, was I amazed at His power and majesty? Did I pause in awe and reverence at the mystery of forgiveness He extends to me? Or was it just an ordinary meeting?
We saw an unusual concern. Who were these four men? Relatives? Neighbors? We don’t know. But we do know they were the definition of true friends. They knew about his need. They cared enough about his need to do something.
How do the needs of my brethren affect me? It’s relatively easy to tell someone “I’m praying for you.” But do I care enough to let their needs affect my wallet and my time? If my invalid or aging neighbor judged the depth of my concern by the number of times I offered to lend a helping hand, would it be an ordinary or an unusual concern? “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” ( Gal 6:2).
We saw an unusual faith that produced an unusual effort. We don’t know how far they walked, or how rugged the path was. But we know they did it for their friend not only because they cared, but because they believed that this disease was no match for the Healer. They had an unusual faith. How do we know? They didn’t give up. They climbed the steps. They dismantled the roof. They expected results. They persisted—and their efforts were rewarded. We also know they had faith because Jesus acknowledged it. “And when he saw their faith...” Luke 5:20a. Their unusual faith made a difference for this man.
How has my faith effected the way I relate to the sick and suffering neighbors in my life? As a brotherhood, are we persisting together in outreach efforts out of a deep-rooted, unusual faith that God wants to bring lost souls from our town into His Kingdom. Press on! Don’t let closed doors weaken our resolve. The Lord blesses unusual faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6)
We saw an unusual miracle. We saw a sick man who could not lift hand or foot, in a single moment, made to walk and carry his bed, at the word of the Lord Jesus Christ! It was a strange sight to all of us, especially those who personally knew this poor paralyzed man, when they saw him stand up from the bed and glorify God.
Have I witnessed any unusual miracles today? I talked to John today. His life’s story was marked early on with a lot of darkness. Years of drinking and smoking took their toll. His marriage disintegrated into divorce after discovering his wife was unfaithful. For years he wouldn’t darken a church door after being left down by a pastor whom he had trusted. But today he is a soldier for Jesus Christ. He spreads his smile at every Sunday morning service that he’s well enough to attend. He weeps and wonders how he can help his family experience the deliverance he has found. The miracle of his life amazed me again. And I glorified God.
Friend, I challenge you to look honestly at your life. Is it marked by an unusual miracle? Does it take a lesser miracle to save a church going lost sinner than a non-church going sinner? We all need an uncommon Savior to change us by an uncommon miracle if we will be a part of His uncommon kingdom!
What was God’s purpose in healing this paralyzed man? He wanted to give him an opportunity to glorify God. And he did. What was His purpose in orchestrating this series of unusual events for other to see? To give them opportunity to glorify God. And they did.
Why has God offered me so great salvation? Why has he created a world of wonders for me to enjoy? Why has He invested such an interest in my soul? He wants to receive glory from my heart and my lips. Have I taken the time today to see strange things? Do I have the vision that sees hand of God working in an ordinary day? May it be said of us, “And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” Luke 5:26.