Luke 5 Lesson

Encouragement

Somebody once said that the 4 most encouraging words you can say to somebody are, “I believe in you.”

Chapter 5 contains a beautiful interaction between Jesus and Simon. Jesus had used Simon’s boat to teach the crowd that had gathered along the shoreline. Simon and the others had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. Jesus asks Simon to go out into deeper water and lower his nets for a catch. Simon’s reaction is particularly important. His first reaction was to tell Jesus that they had been trying all night and caught nothing.

More importantly, his second thought was to do just as Jesus said. Simon went out and lowered his nets, as Jesus requested, and filled two boats with fish to the point where the boats began to sink.

What Simon witnessed must have been overwhelming. His reaction is understandable. Simon did not feel worthy to be with Jesus and said to Him in verse 8, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Reading this, one gets a sense for how vulnerable Simon was at that moment.

How did Jesus respond? He responded with:

  • Encouragement.
  • An invitation to join Him.

Jesus said to Simon:

“Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” – Luke 5:10.

This may well have been a “make or break” moment for Simon. After the miracle of the fish, Simon realized that Jesus was The Christ. And his first reaction was to get swallowed up by his own sins and push Jesus away. Fortunately for Simon, Jesus knew his heart, and He did not give up on Simon.  Although Simon may not have thought he was going to catch any fish, he obeyed Jesus and followed His request to drop their fishing nets. Jesus responded by choosing Simon to follow Him and become one of His disciples.

Through His invitation, Jesus conveyed to Simon that He believed in Him. And that encouragement was enough for Simon to realize his full potential.

Maybe there are people in our lives that need somebody to believe in them to reach their potential. As always, we can follow the perfect example of Jesus by including them and encouraging them.

Later in Chapter 5, Jesus heals a man with leprosy. This would be a good time to point out a pattern that you can look for in the Gospels.

LOOK FOR THIS PATTERN IN THE GOSPELS

  1. Jesus performs miracles.
  2. People hear about the miracles.
  3. Large crowds begin to follow Him.
  4. Jesus uses the opportunity to teach the crowds.

Verses 17-26 are Luke’s account of the paralytic man being lowered through the roof so Jesus could heal him. This is the same compelling story found in Mark 2 and Mathew 9. We will end today’s study by revisiting our notes from Virtual Bible Study’s lesson from Mark 2:

The second chapter of Mark’s Gospel shares with us a powerful example of hope and faith. The setting is the home of Jesus, where Jesus is speaking the Word to a large crowd of people that have gathered inside His home.  The crowd was so large that it was blocking the entranceway to the house. 

A paralytic man was among the many people who came to see Jesus that day. He was being carried by four men and came to see Jesus to see if he could be healed.

Mark writes:

“Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.” – Mark 2:4.

The hope and faith that this man had in Jesus is an example that we all can learn from. Although this man could not walk, he believed that Jesus could heal him. As he approached the house, the crowd was so big that he could not go through the door.

For many people, that would be the end of the story. However, this man did not give up. Instead, he persevered.  He and the four men carrying him believed in Jesus, and their faith would allow Jesus to work in their lives in a miraculous way!

It is inspiring to see how faith worked in their lives. Not only did they have faith, but they also turned their faith into action!

James 2:17 says:

Faith without works is dead, being alone.”  If we do not act on our faith, we should not expect much to happen.

The story of the paralytic man teaches us to act on our faith and to persevere when things do not go according to plan. This man, along with those who carried him, refused to give up on their belief that Jesus could heal him. When the door literally closed on their efforts, they persevered and found another way. They removed the roof; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

The experience of being paralyzed, raised up, and lowered through a hole in the roof would scare a lot of us.  Try to visualize the scene that was taking place here. Is it possible that the paralytic man was smiling as they lowered him down through the hole in the roof?

That is a definite possibility because of the faith that the paralytic man had in Jesus, and because he had hope.   This man believed in Jesus, and Jesus knew his heart. Jesus says to the man:

“Your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5.

The scribes take issue with Jesus saying that He has forgiven the paralytic man’s sins. Jesus sensing the scribes’ concern responds:

“Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” – Mark 2:8-12.

The story of the paralytic man is a story of hope and faith in Jesus.

Jesus says to the man:

“I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” – Mark 2:11. 

The paralytic man immediately picked up the pallet and began walking. Seeing this, the people were amazed! They were glorifying God and saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

So, what is the takeaway from this story?

How can we apply what we have just studied to our own lives? 

The takeaway for us is this:

When it comes to our faith in Jesus, we cannot give up, or allow anything to block us.

The paralytic man did not give up when things did not go as planned. Instead, he remained faithful and found another way. It is also important to take note how the paralytic man did not do it alone. He had others to help him find Jesus. We all need the support and encouragement of others.

If we keep believing, and keep seeking Jesus, we will find Him, and He will lead us home.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following words spoken by Jesus:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Mathew 7:7-8.

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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John
Virtual Bible Study

Sometimes I can get caught up in the thinking, “I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.”

After all, there is a popular saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

This saying has a place in the secular world, but not for followers of Jesus.

Just because something did not work before, that does not mean that God can not make it work now.

With God, ALL things are possible, and as Simon found out, if God wills for something to happen, we should never doubt Him.

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