(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)
LUKE 5:12-32 – JESUS IS WILLING
LIFE OF CHRIST #16 of 61
Christians should be known for their willingness to help, encourage, witness, forgive, and a host of other things. That’s because our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ was a very willing person.
In fact, we want to observe the willingness of our Lord Jesus in Luke 5:12-32 as we continue our chronological study in the Life of Christ. Let’s look at four things that the Lord was willing to do back when He walked the earth. The great news is that He is willing to do the same things today.
JESUS IS WILLING TO CHANGE A MAN’S CONDITION – Vss. 12-16
Vs. 12 – Here was a leper. A man who had a terrible disease, perhaps similar to our modern day Hansen’s disease. It was a disease that evidently ate away at skin or made nerve endings dead so that there was no feeling. Imagine how easy it would be to burn, cut or break something without even realizing it. No wonder many people with leprosy became disfigured!
God had said that such people were to maintain their distance from other people. Leviticus 13:45-46
This leper probably violated the law of the day by getting close to the Lord Jesus. But this poor man, desperately in need of change, realized something very important. He realized that if anyone was going to change him and make him well it was Jesus! Notice that the man had no doubts that Jesus could heal him. He realized that Jesus needed to be willing to do so! Here was a man of faith!
Vs. 13 – Here is the great news! Jesus was willing and even touched the man, something most people would not do. And immediately the man was healed! A great change took place!
The great news is that Jesus is still willing to change a man’s condition. In fact that’s why He came to earth in the first place.
We were dead in trespasses and sins but Jesus came so that we would have life! John 10:10-11
Any time a person comes to Christ a great change takes place! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Here’s another thought. The day you were saved was not the last day that Jesus worked in your life, nor will it be, if you let him! Jesus is still willing to make changes in your life!
Whatever attitude that needs to be changed, the Lord is willing to change it.
Whatever habit that needs to be changed, the Lord Jesus is willing to change it.
Bring whatever needs to be changed to the Lord Jesus and He will change it. 1 John 5:14-15
1 John 5:14-15 – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
JESUS IS WILLING TO CLEANSE A MAN’S SIN – Vss. 17-26
Vs. 17 – Jesus was preaching in a house and God’s power was obviously present for healing. You might say, “There was electricity in the air.”
Evidently there was also a “board of review” present a contingent of scribes and Pharisees who were there to monitor Jesus and find out what He was doing.
Vss. 18-19 – There was a paralytic who desperately needed the healing touch of the Lord Jesus. He had four friends, perhaps even family members, who carted the man to Jesus on his bed. They got to where Jesus was and couldn’t get into the house.
Instead of panicking, they simply took the man up on the flat roof of the house and then tore up part of the roof. First they would have dug up about a foot of earth, which might have even had grass growing in it. Then they took out padding of reeds, thistles and twigs. Next they took out sticks laid crosswise on beams that were two to three feet apart from each other. I imagine that he was sent down on ropes through those beams.
Vs. 20 – Of course, I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling that Jesus smiled when he saw this! The homeowner probably saw a mess. The Scribes and Pharisees probably saw some insolent people interrupting the proceedings. Jesus saw faith! He responded to that faith by making a most important statement. He told the man His sins were forgiven!
We don’t know the man’s heart, but it is obvious that Jesus did!
This reminds me of just how willing Jesus is to forgive!
Jesus is willing to forgive so a person can go to Heaven.
Jesus is willing to forgive us Christians in order to restore a right relationship between God and us.
1 John 1:8-10
Vs. 21 – The Pharisees were thinking right away that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy. Only God could forgive sin. This is true. But they did not make the connection that Jesus is God!
Vss. 22-23 – Jesus asks “What’s easier to say? ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or ‘Get up and walk.'” It’s easier to say sins are forgiven, because people could not tell if the person was telling the truth.
Vs. 24 – But if Jesus could say to the man “Rise up and walk” after telling the man his sins were forgiven, this would be proof that Jesus had the needed authority to forgive sins.
Vss. 25-26 – Jesus healing this man was proof that He had the authority needed to forgive!
I want to leave you with two thoughts on this section.
- Because Jesus has the authority to forgive, let Him forgive you! It’s as easy as 1John 1:9.
- Because Jesus has the authority to forgive, share the availability of forgiveness with others. If they are unsaved, share the plan of salvation. If they are saved, share 1 John 1:9.
JESUS IS WILLING TO CALL A MAN TO SERVICE – Vss. 27-28
Vs. 27 – Here was a man who was not liked. He was a tax collector.
Tax collectors were considered the worse of sinners and traitors to their country.
The tax collection system made it very possible for men to be crooked and to cheat those that were being taxed.
Levi or Matthew was “in the office” so to speak, when Jesus came by. I think it likely that Matthew had had contact with Jesus before, perhaps socially, but more likely that Matthew had attended some of Jesus’ teaching. Perhaps Matthew had already made a decision for Christ.
Now Jesus comes by and very simply says, “Follow me.”
This was a call to discipleship. It meant that Matthew would have to give up a very lucrative position.
But it also meant that Matthew would have witnessed many of the great miracles that Jesus did. It meant that he would be a witness of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It would mean that Matthew would help take the Gospel to the world!
Vs. 28 – Matthew left it all, got up and followed Jesus!
Matthew simply had to say “Yes.”
We need to remember that not all are called to be pastors or missionaries. Some are called to be Christian housewives. Some are called to be witnesses on a secular job. Some are called to be Sunday School teachers and church leaders.
Some are called to ministries of good works. Some are called to sing. All are called to use their Spiritual gifts for the honor and glory of God. 1 Peter 4:10-11
JESUS IS WILLING TO COMMUNICATE WITH MEN IN NEED – Vss. 29-32
Vs. 29 – Matthew had a big dinner, I assume, in Jesus’ honor.
Who did Matthew invite? He invited his friends.
His friends were publicans and other “sinners.”
Why did Matthew have this dinner? I think at least one reason was to introduce his friends to Jesus.
Matthew was probably so pleased with the change that Jesus made in his life, that he wanted others to know Jesus too.
Usually people are most enthused about evangelism right after they are saved. Unfortunately, as time goes by we get more settled in with our Christian friends, that we lose, neglect, or forget our non-Christian friends.
Yes, our Christian friends should be our nearest and dearest friends. But Jesus never told us to stick our heads in the sand like an Ostrich and ignore the rest of the world!
It’s very easy to avoid the unsaved. But every one of us needs to be developing and maintaining friendships with unsaved people we can strive to bring people to Christ as Savior.
Vs. 30 – The Pharisees were critical. They were separatists who could not understand why Jesus would spend time with sinners. Of course, these people were so self-righteous that they didn’t admit to their own sin or need for the Savior.
Vs. 31 – Jesus gave the answer. Well people do not need a doctor. Sick people need a doctor.
Sinners are Spiritually sick and they need a doctor.
They need someone to tell them the good news of salvation.
We Christians need to develop friendships with non-Christians for the express purpose of winning them to the Lord Jesus.
A doctor risks exposure to sickness when he comes in contact with sick people, but he goes anyway.
You and I risk exposure to bad language and ideas and habits when we spend time with the unsaved. But we should not do what they do. In some cases Christians can’t have relationships with certain unsaved because the unsaved drag them down.
Vs. 32 – Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous to repentance.
He called the sick people to repentance.
Let’s develop Christian friendships for Christ’s sake!