Week 8: One More
17 On one of those days, as he (Jesus) was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he (Jesus) saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and (he) picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” 27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and (he) followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:17-32
What would you do to get your friend to Jesus? In today’s day and age, we are supposed to keep those kind of conversations to ourselves. However, the scriptures are clear that as followers of Jesus one of our primary responses to the gospel in our own life is to point others to the same life giving source that saved us, that is Jesus, Himself.
While it’s obvious that the friend that is brought to Jesus will benefit, did you ever think about the benefit to the ones bringing the friend? This year, and these devotionals have been about you and I deepening our relationship with Jesus. Did you catch the reason that Jesus gave as to why the paralytic was healed?
The bible says “…when he saw their faith…” That means when Jesus saw the faith of the friends, not the paralytic, then Jesus responded. Did you realize that one of the best ways to DEEPEN your relationship with Jesus is to help others discover theirs?
When these friends first showed up with their friend in need they were met with great obstacles. The crowd is too big. The room is too small. They were too late. But they did not let that stop them. That perseverance in bringing their friend to Jesus creates a dependency upon God. And that dependency upon God will always deepen your relationship with Him.
Did you realize that one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to lead people to Jesus? That means, that you are most in line with the Spirit of God when you are pointing and leading people to Jesus. So how does that play out in your own personal life? Well, at Eleven22, we often talk about #onemore. Acts 11:24 says, “and he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” In God’s economy a “great number” is just ONE MORE.
So…so who is the ONE person that you are praying for and asking that God might use you to overcome whatever obstacles you must to bring them to Jesus? Would you commit to pray for that person daily and keep your eyes wide open for the opportunities that the Lord gives you?
Bringing that person to Jesus could be as simple as sharing an invitation to church, or sharing your story of how you met Jesus, or sharing the gospel itself, or maybe it’s just sharing another meal to answer questions. Often times, God calls us to be the ones that bring a friend into the presence of Jesus.
And the text keeps going. You see, I find it interesting that the very next passage isn’t so much about bringing people to Jesus…but instead it’s about bringing Jesus to your friends. Jesus comes face to face with a tax collector, not exactly a popular guy in the first century, especially in Jerusalem. And Jesus offers him grace and Levi (also known as Matthew) receives that grace. The next part is astounding. Immediately…Levi, the brand new convert run over by the freight train of God’s grace, he throws a party! And he doesn’t ditch his friends from the past. Instead, he invites them to the party with Jesus. You see, sometimes we have an opportunity to bring people to Jesus (by sharing an invitation to church, or sharing the gospel) and sometimes you bring Jesus to people (by hosting a party and inviting all of your friends and not being ashamed of Christ).
Again, nothing will deepen your own personal relationship with Jesus like helping others to discover theirs.
So I want to leave you with a few actions steps to consider:
- Write down the #onemore person that you will commit to pray for and seek opportunities to share your faith with.
- On the next #onemore weekend here at Eleven22, invite at least one friend just to come and see and check it out for themselves.
- Throw a party! Invite some people to your home and as you do that, point people to Jesus, in whatever way He leads you to.
So…just think for a minute about the person that lead you to Christ. Maybe it was a friend, a coworker, a family member. Take a minute and thank God for that person.
Now, can you imagine what it would be like to be that person in someone else’s life?
May God continue to deepen your relationship with Him as you are devoted to helping others discover theirs.