Luke and The Lost
For a classroom of first graders to experience the change that a “worm” goes through to become something completely different is fun to watch. Their eyes are wide open as they watch the butterfly emerge from the woven cocoon that it made for itself while in transformation. There are many oohs and ahs as the butterfly now works to free itself from the cage designed to hold it in the classroom. Then the day comes to release this new creature into the world. Fully transformed with instincts to do what it knows it was created to do…to fly!
Throughout Jesus’ ministry he does not wave and hand over crowds of people and say, “You’re healed”. He had the power to do that, but He didn’t. Why? Because He sees one person at a time, acknowledges who they are, knows them by name and meets specific needs for that individual. Jesus still does that. He heals, saves, transforms each one of us, one at a time, from the inside out and sends us to be who were created to be.
Is it time we “get up and walk”? Is it time to praise God for what He has done, is doing and will do in our lives? YES!
Luke 5, The Message
17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him.
18-20 Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.”
21 That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins.”
22-26 Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, “Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, “We’ve never seen anything like that!”
27-28 After this he went out and saw a man named Levi at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” And he did—walked away from everything and went with him.
29-30 Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?”
31-32 Jesus heard about it and spoke up, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.”
CHANGED from the inside out. It’s time to walk, run, and fly! Whatever God asks, wherever He sends, be and do, trust and obey. It all begins by accepting the invitation, repenting of the past, and allowing Jesus to transform our lives as we walk with Him. Don’t look back to the cocoon, fly into the arms of Jesus!
“I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders–an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.” –Jesus