Saturday, September 19, 2009

LITN V, Verses 12 - 39

























12. While Jesus was ministering in a certain town, a man came along who was covered up with leprosy. As soon as he saw Jesus, he literally fell on his face to the ground, and with great emotion started begging Him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me...You can make me clean!"

13. Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man that society considered untouchable, and said to him, "Hey...I'm totally willing...you don't have to beg...be clean!" And just like that the leprosy completely left him.

14. Then Jesus said to him, "Look, don't tell anyone about this...but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing as a testimony to them."

15. But, of course, there was no way to keep something like this quiet. The news about Him spread even more, and very fast. As a result, huge crowds of people came to hear Him, and to be healed of their sicknesses and diseases.

16. But when the crowds got bigger and more demanding like this, Jesus withdrew to lonely places to pray and to meditate.
17. One day as He was teaching in the home of someone, some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to listen to Him. People had come from every village of Galilee, from Judea, and Jerusalem on this occasion, and the tangible power to heal the sick was present and unusually strong that day.

18. And some men came carrying a paralyzed friend of theirs on a mat, and tried to get him into the house to lay him before Jesus.

19. But the crowd was too thick and tightly packed into the house, so when they realized that they couldn't find a way to get through, they just went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles, into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20. When Jesus saw their innovation, and the proactive way that their faith manifested into action, He said to the man, "My friend, all your sins are forgiven!"

21. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were offended, even scandalized at these words, and began thinking to themselves, "Who does this upstart think He is? And why does He so glibly speak blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

22. Jesus instinctively knew what they were thinking and asked them, "Why are you thinking these things, internally?

23. I mean, which is easier...to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up off of that stretcher and walk'?

24. Allow Me to demonstrate this concept to you, and to show you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Then He said to the man, "Get up! Pick up your mat and go home, whole!"

25. And immediately he stood up in front of all of them, picked up what he had been lying on, just as Jesus instructed him, and went home praising God.

26. Everyone there was amazed by the whole scenario, and gave praise to God. They were all filled with awe and said to one another, "Remember what took place on this day...we have seen remarkable things here!"
27. Not long after this Jesus encountered a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office, as he did every day. When He saw him, He focused His entire attention on Him, and, without wasting any words, said to him, "I want you to join Me right now as a disciple, and follow Me wherever I go."

28. These words were so direct, authoritative, and inexplicably compelling to Levi, that he completely left everything in his life as a tax man, and got up right then and there to follow Jesus into a completely new and different reality.

29. One evening, Levi (also known as Matthew), hosted a great banquet in Jesus' honor at his own house, and invited a large company of tax collectors, and others of dubious reputation. And all of these people were comfortably reclining at the table with Jesus, laughing and talking with Him.

30. Now the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining about this, and protesting to Jesus' disciples, saying, "Why are you all eating and even drinking with these tax collectors and openly sinful people?"

31. Jesus overheard them and said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick.

32. I haven't come to invite and call the ones that everyone assumes are righteous, but the ones who are perceived as the unrighteous...the ones who are considered the worst of the worst...and the ones who, indeed, need to change their ways by changing their mindsets."

33. Then they said to Him, "Well, the disciples of John practice fasting often and offer up prayers and petitions...and so do the disciples of the Pharisees...but Yours spend all their time at parties, eating and drinking with riff-raff!"

34. And Jesus said to them, "Do you think you can make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them?

35. Look, the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then, believe Me, they will do their fasting."

36. He also told them a proverb, saying, "No one puts a patch from a new garment on an old garment, because, if he does, he will tear the new one, and the patch from that garment will not match the old one.

37. In the same way, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the fresh wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled everywhere, and the skins will be ruined.

38. The bottom line is this...new wine must be put into fresh wineskins!

39. No one, after drinking fine, aged wine immediately desires new wine, for he says, the old is good or better. So, in other words, I am having to show you a whole new way to think about how you perceive right and wrong...about how you discern what is 'acceptable' and what is 'unacceptable'...about who you think is fit or unfit. My intention is to turn your minds into new wineskins, and to create within you a taste and a craving for the new wine!"

8 comments:

Avatar said...

v.13...there's a lot of difference between "I am willing" and "I am totally willing...you don't have to beg..." Thank you, Bishop.

v.16..."lonely places"...interesting.

As far as I can tell only the NIV uses "lonely". Its easy to skim over deserted, or the wilderness or the desert...which all send the message, to me, that He just needed to be alone at times. But "lonely" places? Surely He was...surrounded by the Christ that only wanted Him to heal them...missing pretty much everything else He had come to say.

All that gives depth to verse 20 for me. "My FRIEND!!" I can imagine Jesus thinking: you are part of a group of people who have come into AGREEMENT, "put your faith into action" and are creatively working together! Amazing! Oh how I've waited for someone who can hear "Your sins are forgiven!"

v.25...I like the way LITN makes sure we notice the healed man did "just as Jesus instructed him"...unlike the healed leper, and others, who didn't.

Avatar said...

v.29...of course the good doctor would say "others of dubious reputation"! Hearing this in my head made me laugh as if I already know and love Doctor Luke.

wordver: doctim..."him the doctor"...yes, wordver, him certainly is!

v.39...a stand alone WOW verse. Dear Lord, I can read that LITN verse over and over. What a joyful verse!

Mystic said...

Question: If the scribes and Pharisees observed the behavior of Jesus and His disciples, doesn't that suggest they were AT the dinner as well? Things that make me go hmmm...

Erik said...

Hello, kind of related , first, I see the bridegroom with me, so I do not ‘wait’ for the manifestation. So I have not and do not anticipate fasting, but continual celebration. It is true that we have some time of subsiding in the wedding party, but it is short.

I have to share something before worship tomorrow, even if it is too late for anyone to read before Sun AM .
I had an extreme situation happen beginning Wed that was a result of my own carelessness and foolishness. I did not realize the consequences, these were extremely financial, emptying every cent, and emotional. Once realized the effect and impact, and the seemingly overwhelming institutions to confront, I experienced an ultimate created challenge Wed from the most powerful create d institutions we have. I saw no way in the created worlds out, and believed I had lost everything. They are very demanding. The situation resulted from my carelessness and failure, but I did not expect such a severe result, but it happened suddenly and without mercy. Shocked and surprised, I did not know what to do, but did the most powerful thing, pray for forgiveness, my foolishness, and lack of follow up. And that somehow this event can be changed and the government process would make an exception.

Against daunting odds, what seemed impossible, HS, led me through phone calls to change reality. In less than 72 hours, most everything was reversed, astonishingly, beyond my error and carelessness. All I can do is Thank God over and over.

As helpless as I felt 72 hours ago, against institutions I had no perceived impact with who had all natural control over me, and access and withdrawal of all assets and cash. I woke up Wed Am with no access or control over the mammon in my life. I prayed immediately, spoke with people who would do the same.

What seemed unrecoverable error, HS walked me through calls to government and banking officials, and in less then 72 hours, all was changed again.

I know God More closely now than ever have and feel more secure than ever. Only a few times in my life have I been truly afraid, the last time was a few years ago in an emotional state, and before that when I was 3 or 4, my earliest memory. HS was right with me, explaining the bigger picture, to keep me calm. All I can say is absolute overwhelming odds were overcome in less than 72 hours and I saw Gods mercy and grace cover my foolishness and carelessness in a huge way, seems like the 3rd worst situation in my life, the kind that could have paralyzed me except for my direct contact with HS, whom I love with everything I can imagine.

I have no right to grace and mercy, just unmerited gift, which is even more worthwhile. I love God and am more secure in God than ever after facing a fear that is as old s I am, an onion skin width away, yet God is there as well. Walking me through as I stumble, and have no one else but God, and gratefully receive.

karl said...

Good morning Bishop and everyone, believing for a good day of praise and progress...peace!
-Karl

Teezy313 said...

I'm reminded of P.Deb's message a while back about putting on the new wineskin...awesome as it was this passage of LITN is just as great!

ver word-coustic- I need an (a)coustic guitar hahah

Anonymous said...

verse 13....WOW
CITN is definetly reaching out and touching those that society consider untouchable...

I love verse 32..."changing their mindsets"

Agreeing with Avatar about verse 39!
Holy Spirit, turn my mind into a new wineskin, and let me create a craving for the new wine!

Thank you, Bishop for helping me understand what these verses really mean!!

Lindsey

Anonymous said...

Of course I mean "definitely" :)