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Messy Grace

Friday, April 21

Messy Grace
By: Anna Williams

“One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.
 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”- Luke 5:17-20 NLT

Last time we looked at this account about Jesus, we homed in on the religious men who were amazed by the works of Jesus, but they failed to recognize WHO He was. They had knowledge but no relationship, and that impacted their perspective. Now I’d like to look more closely at those who understood that Jesus was the Son of God and how much that affected their perspective and actions.  

If you’ve been serving Jesus for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that doing so involves a lot of messy Grace. No two followers of Christ are alike, and that can lead to interesting personality clashes within the body of Christ. We all come from diverse backgrounds, differing cultures, and varying methods of communication. It takes an authentic love for Christ {and therefore our neighbors} to see it through – all aided by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Take for example, Jesus’s followers who invited him into their home to teach that day. I’m sure they had no idea how many crowds would show up, trample their bushes, or overflow their outhouse – let alone tear a hole in their roof to get to Him! Following Him came at a cost… but oh, what an amazing payoff! They witnessed healings, discovered new truths and were part of a world-changing movement! Do you love Jesus so much that you’d sacrifice any of your possessions to be near Him and the work He is doing?

Then we read about the paralytic’s friends who believed in Jesus, knew He had the answer and loved their friend enough to clear all barriers between him and Jesus. They weren’t worried about what other people would say. They weren’t overly concerned about the roof repair costs. Their primary concern was their friend’s soul and his need to encounter Jesus. When we go all-in to love those that the world considers “the least of these”, God works in miraculous ways. The passage above says, “Seeing their faith” Jesus forgave the paralytic’s sins and then also healed him. Is there a part you can play in clearing barriers or providing accommodation for those who struggle with disabilities?

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