Wisdom from the Word

Wisdom from the Word #12 - 2/9/2024

Spiritual Paralysis: The Enemy of the Gospel

Luke 5:17-26
The Gospel of Luke is amazing in it’s demonstration of the power of Jesus over sin, sickness, and spiritual weakness. A beautiful picture of His authority is given in Luke 5:17—26. There we find the story of the Paralytic and the friends that wanted to get him to Jesus. In this encounter between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees we see 5 Points of Spiritual Paralysis that are the enemy of the Gospel.
  1. Paralysis of the Mind (17). Luke informs us that the Scribes and Pharisees had come to where Jesus was, not to be taught by Him, but to find some fault in His teaching. They were experts in the Law. Pharisees Study the Law, Know the Law, Consult the Law, and Keep the Law. They had no interest in anything outside the Law because their minds were paralyzed   beyond thinking there could be something to what Jesus was teaching. Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Romans 10:4; Matt. 5:17)
  2. Paralysis of the Body (18—20). A paralyzed man is brough to Jesus by his friends because they knew Jesus was his only hope. They did not let the crowds stop them. The Pharisees were paralyzed in their body also because they didn't make a move to help the man. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” He said this because the thinking of the day was that no one gets up from their sick-bed until their sins are forgiven. In other words, they were paralyzed in their mind and body to offer hope or help for this man. Jesus gave him both.
  3. Paralysis of the Heart (21—22). They were in   disbelief that Jesus would say He could forgive this man’s sins. Rather than wanting to know the truth they dismiss it as blasphemous.
  4. Paralysis of Belief (23—24). They cared neither that the man’s sins were forgiven or that he was now healed. They only knew what they knew, and they were not interested in anything different.
  5. Paralysis of the Enemy (25—26). Luke writes that the man got up and walked away praising God and that they (the Pharisees and Scribes) were in awe saying, “We saw wonderful (great) things today.” They had a great experience with the outcome of the demonstration, but the enemy kept them from believing. Being fully paralyzed kept them from knowing the Messiah was right in front of them, but they could not make a move toward the Savior for their minds, bodies, and souls were paralyzed by the enemy.
Christians can become paralyzed too when we are not obedient in carrying the gospel to our friends, families, neighbors or co-workers. We get so caught up in our church life we forget there is a world that needs to be introduced to the Savior who can be the anchor for their souls and save them. The word Luke uses in verse 26 describing their experience as wonderful or great is par-ad'-ox-os which is where we get our word paradox. Paradox means any person, thing, or situation displaying an apparently contradictory nature. To the Pharisees, Jesus was a contradiction to their understanding. However, even seeing this miracle take place, they just couldn’t face the fact that Jesus just might be who He says He is.
We live in a world that sees Jesus as someone displaying a contradiction to what is “normal.” They see Christians not being conformed to this world but transformed by a renewed mind. Take the time TODAY to show them the eternal paradox, Jesus, the Savior of the world.


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