Friends with benefits

Luke 5 describes Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man. Friends of the paralyzed man took him to the roof of the location where Jesus was teaching, removed tiles from the roof, and lowered him down on a stretcher into Jesus’ presence. Jesus heals him with the statement, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” (Verse 20) I am intrigued by two aspects of this particular miracle.

1. In verse 17b it says: And the Lord’s power to heal was in Him. This verse is about Jesus and, to me, it suggests that Jesus’ power to heal could potentially not be in Him. I don’t think this indicates a limitation of Jesus, but rather the limitation imposed by us on His healing power by our lack of faith.

2. Verse 20 starts with: Seeing their faith He said… I think this is so cool. It was the faith of the friends of the paralyzed man, not the man’s faith, that called Jesus into action.

I see this as nothing short of a direct call to prayer for each of us. Is a friend in trouble, sick, lost? Pray for him/her! Your faith in God’s healing power can minister to that person right where they are, independent of their current relationship with God. Seeing your faith, Jesus calls them friend and heals their infirmary.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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