Day 24

A TRUE friend

After this last "fishing trip," the movement is snowballing. Did you catch how the movement of multiplication is beginning to pick up momentum? Mark notes that during this time in the ministry, the leper "went out and began to talk freely, spreading the good news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere" (Mark 1:45). For the eyewitnesses that he interviewed, Luke notes: "Yet the news about him spread all the more so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness" (Luke 5:15). What will happen next?

Read Luke 5:17-26, Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-13

Where is Jesus "fishing"? What is happening here in this passage?

What problems present themselves in the text?

Luke 5:20 and Mark 2:5 tell us Jesus "Saw their faith." So what does this tell us about faith?

What lessons were the disciples learning as they watched this event unfold?

This "fishing trip" is a result of the last one. When Jesus healed the leper, He told him to tell no one but to go and show himself to the priest. So I think the healing of the man with leprosy was, in fact, Jesus' creative invitation to the religious leaders to today's "fishing trip" in Capernaum.

On this occasion, Jesus sets up to target the religious leaders. Notice the people in this packed house (Luke 5:17). There were Pharisees and law teachers from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. Wow! What a gathering! Having attracted a crowd by cleansing a leper, this was the first time that kind of miracle had happened in a long time. Only God could have done that, right? I think Jesus invited these leaders to continue a discussion that He had previously had with them in Jerusalem. They had accused him of saying that he was God's Son and claiming to be equal with God himself (John 5:18). Maybe they had come ready for a fight, prepared to show Jesus a curve ball. Or maybe they came with honest questions? The discussion must have centered around Jesus being God and having the same power as God. What power did God alone have? Did you catch it? God alone could forgive sins (Luke 5:21). "Yeah, Jesus, You can't forgive sins, can you?"

Some religious leaders seemed dead set on proving that Jesus was not God. But their hopes were crushed as the Father sent four incredible friends who would not be denied or would they give up. Instead, they got creative doing whatever it took to get their friend to Jesus. Do you have any friends like that? Do you love anyone enough to do whatever it takes to get them to Jesus? This paralyzed man had four superhero friends who would stop at nothing to get their friend to Jesus. If you thought about it, you'd see that you had a superhero friend who brought you to Jesus because no one comes to Jesus alone. We all need a friend to invite us "come and see."

Who do you love enough to tell them that Jesus is the way to God, the only way (John 14:6)?

Notice how they leave this outreach event (Luke 5:26). All of them– the people, the friends, the man, and the religious leaders–were amazed and glorified God. The ministry is taking a turn. What will happen next?!

Take a few moments and thank God for the person who shared with you the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah. Thank God for giving you a friend that loved you enough that they were willing to take a risk and bring you to Jesus.

Now think of someone you know who needs their sins forgiven. Write down their name on a piece of paper. Then start to think:

How can I get an opportunity to share the gospel with them? Invite them to dinner? Invite them to coffee? I don't know! Find a way to be in their schedule!

Remember, your friend is spiritually paralyzed. How can you get your friend to Jesus? Spend some time praying and finalizing your plan to have a "fishing" trip. Pick one of the "fishing trips" we've studied and follow Jesus' example. Reach out with God's love to those around you who are spiritual lepers and paralytics.

I would LOVE to hear what you plan for your "fishing trips"! Due to the sensitive nature of "fishing trips," I'd ask you not to post specifics (names... personal info), but I'd love to hear what you have planned! You may post (with discretion) or email me!


Amanda Welch - February 2nd, 2023 at 7:31am

I love this account! I love how Jesus sees faith! I believe he sees our faith too, and that he blesses us for it.

I realize need to be around unbelievers more, most of my life revolves around souls that are already saved… I will have to get creative and be intentional to find a way to share the gospel with others.

Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones to find the lost. Praying for God to lead me in that.

Emily McCauley - February 2nd, 2023 at 1:03pm

Well, I am a food pusher so that where I start. People love to have a meal made or brought to them and it’s a good way to start speaking about Jesus.

I need to work on spending more time with each individual.