- March 8, 2023 at 12:39 pm #1369
This is for follow up thoughts on the weekly Come Follow Me section and the corresponding Weekly Deep Dive Podcast episode. Feel free to create new posts here with thoughts, comments, perspective, questions, etc. And feel free to reply to posts to contribute to the discussion. Please be respectful of each other in how you post.
- March 9, 2023 at 2:04 pm #1378
MATTHEW 9-10; MARK 5; LUKE 9
- March 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm #1379
CHRIST AND THE MAN POSSESSED WITH LEGION
After talking with someone this week, I have a completely new perspective on how this played out. In Mark 5:9 it reads, “And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.” In the podcast episode, I mentioned I thought it was interesting the Christ would ask for a name here. And, I didn’t think he was interested in the individual demon names, because he doesn’t follow up this conversation, that we know of, asking for a list of every spirit’s names. I thought it was odd that he would engage the spirits and ask their name rather then just cast them out. The thoughts that were shared with me was that Christ potentially was not asking for the names of the spirits, but rather then name of the man who had been possessed. He was reaching out to this man who he came to see and trying to cut through the noise to reach him. This was powerful to me. It also could explain why this man ran out to meet Christ when Christ came. He could have been desperate to be healed. He also asked to stay with Christ when he left, and he became a powerful missionary afterwards. Mark 5:19-20, “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
- March 9, 2023 at 2:06 pm #1381
THE FAITH OF THE FRIENDS OF THE MAN WITH PALSY
Matthew 9:2, “And Jesus, seeing their faith.” How do you ‘see’ faith?
In Lectures on Faith, faith is described as being the principle of all action. In other words, faith is what starts every action we take, or the driving force behind everything we do. To break it down, the reason we turn on a light switch is that we first believe it will turn on the light. Everything we do in some way is driven by our faith that the action will produce a desired outcome. It’s why we do it.
So, how can you see faith? In this case, they had faith in Jesus, that he could heal their friend. That faith, or belief that he could heal motivated a tremendous amount of actions. Consider this. When Jesus returned to Galilea, he could have been teaching back at his house, or the house of one of his apostles from the area. Most of the time, Jesus taught in an outdoor setting, but in this instance, he was teaching indoors. Why would he teach indoors if there was a large crowd gathered at the building, large enough that the friends carrying the paralytic could not get in? This suggests that the weather could have been inclement in one way or another. Either cold, or rainy, or both, to motivate an indoor setting to try and teach the crowd.
The paralytic man likely did not live close to the house from which Jesus taught. If so, they could have easily returned in the morning or another time when it was less crowded. More likely, they heard of his reputation and made a trip to be there. If they had to lower him on his bed into the room where Jesus taught, did they also have to carry him a long distance on the bed in bad weather to get there?
Many houses in this time period were two story homes. Carrying a man long distance on a bed is one thing, trying to get said man with palsy on the roof of a building, let alone a two story building is another.
I doubt the friends plan when they set out to see Jesus was to lower their friend through the roof. When they got to the home and it was too crowded to go in, did they have the supplies they needed to get this man through the roof. They might have had to go gather rope and digging instruments after they arrived to get through the roof. Also, about that roof. The Bible says they dug through the roof. This was not as single as removing a few panels, often roofs in this part of the world at this time in history were constructed of wooden beams topped with branches and covered in clay to seal the roof. They had to dig through mud, clay, and branches large enough to fit an entire bed, likely horizontally to keep the man from falling off the bed as they lowered him.
Why would they go through such incredible effort unless they believed Jesus could heal this man? Faith is not just a mental concept with no outward expression. If we look at it as purely internal, it becomes impossible to measure. Instead, faith is seen in actions and measured in response. What length would we go to to be able to live again after death? To be forgiven of all our sins? What actions do we perform today that make our faith in Jesus visible to Him?
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