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Sunday, October 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 5

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-11

  1. Intro:
    1. Leonardo da Vinci was once at work for a long period of time on a great masterpiece. He had labored long to create this work of art & it was near completion. Standing near him was a young student who spent much of his time w/his mouth wide open, amazed at the master w/the brush. Just before finishing the painting, da Vinci turned to the young student & gave him the brush & said, “Now, you finish it.” The student protested & backed away, but da Vinci said, “Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?”
      1. In this mornings message we learn the necessity of human agency.
      2. A catch of fish that was miraculous. Yet neither the fisherman, nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle was ignored; all were used to take the fishes.
      3. So in the saving of souls. - God will even be pleased by the foolishness of our preaching!
    2. His Galilean ministry continues:
      1. Remember the Galilee wasn’t technically Jewish, but it contained a large Jewish population.
      2. A lot of ministry happened up there though: Sermon on the Mount; Bread of life discourse(Jn 6:59 in Capernaum synagogue); 25 out of 35 recorded miracles happened in the Galilee region.
      3. The Jews in Judea looked on Galileans w/some contempt. They had a rude accent, & were not considered sophisticated in matters of religion.
  2. MANFISHING! (1-11)
    1. (1) Pressed – Here, they pressed to hear him expound the Word of God. Later, Luke uses the same word when the crowds “press” Pilate for a crucifixion, as they are tired of The Word!
    2. Lake of Gennesaret – Also, Sea of Galilee & Sea of Tiberias(imp. city)
      1. Luke w/his pin point accuracy never calls it a sea, the other gospel writers never call it a lake. (Plummer)
    1. (3) Luke doesn’t follow Mt. & Mrk here & specifically singles out Simon.
    1. Here’s the 1st use of a wooden pulpit…in the shape of a boat!
      1. “Christ uses Peter’s boat as a pulpit whence to throw the net of the Gospel over His hearers” (Plummer).
    2. He got into one of the boats – As the Psalmist said, (Ps.127) Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Unless Jesus comes aboard your boat, you’re paddling up stream w/no oars.
    3. (4) What a blessing just to know He is interested in us!
    4. (5) Master – used only by Luke & always in addresses to Christ.
      1. One standing over another”. Recognizes Christ’s authority. (A.T.Robertson; Luke 5:5)
      2. One who has the right to give orders. (LKGNT)
    5. Toiled all night – Fishermen of the Galilee would fish at night when the schools of fish worked there way toward shore to feed on swarms of minnows in the shallower, warmer waters. (Richard’s, The Teachers Commentary.)
    6. Maybe this sums up your life so far “we've toiled all night and caught nothing." – If so, hear Peters answer for this problem!
    7. Nevertheless at Your word – best expression when we don’t get God!
      1. Ok to express your true feelings, just end with doing as he commands.
    8. Net? – Partial obedience? [See Nets in vs.4!]
    9. (8) Jesus overwhelmed not only his nets but Peter himself!
    10. He fell on his knees & said, “Thank you Jesus for these fish!” Noooo!
      1. No, he begged, “stay away from me”, “I’m sinful!”
        1. “You’re Holy, I’m dirty!”
      2. He had seen him do other miracles, greater miracles, but sometimes the simplest things bring a person to Christ.
      3. His heart was touched by God! – He realizes just who Jesus is!
      4. You, like Peter, might look good next to the smelly fisherman next to you; but when you compare yourself to Perfect Purity, all sin floats to the surface. [And, He moves from master to Lord!]
      5. PTL – He doesn’t answer all our prayers & requests!
      6. PTL - He is the friend of sinners!
    11. What humbled Peter? His failure in the pm or his success in the am?
      1. If success humbles you, then failure will build you up!
      2. If success puffs you up, then failure will destroy you! (Warren Wiersbe; Outlines in the NT.)
    12. (9) Astonished – Lit. “for a wonder held him round” (A.T.Robertson; Luke 5:9) (It held Peter fast)
      1. Like being frozen in time.
    13. (10) Catch men – This is the definite service they would render.
    14. It means to catch/take alive, not to kill (like vs.9).
      1. This prophecy came true on Pentecost, where Peter threw his Gospel Net & brought in a great catch of 3000 men-fish!
      2. They caught live fish & they would die. Now, They will catch dead fish(sinners) & the fish would now truly live!
    15. Men, like fish, were astray, were to be sought, & were to be caught!
    16. This word is only used 2 x’s in NT.
      1. The next time (2 Tim.2:26) “having been taken captive by him(the devil) to do his will.”
      2. Thus every soul is to be taken alive by someone.
        1. By Christ to eternal life; or by Satan to eternal death.
        2. By Christ’s Net into His boat; or by Satan’s Web into his sticky snare.
    17. It is likely there were 7 fishermen in the disciple band (Jn.21:1)
      1. Fishermen know how to work together; they don’t give up easily; they have courage; & they labor diligently. (Warren Wiersbe; Outlines in the NT.)
      2. They have the needed qualities: watchfulness, observation, patience, earnestness, perseverance, readiness, strength, & power. (Griffith Thomas pg.98)
      3. These are ideal qualities for disciples of Jesus Christ.
      4. The fact that these men were willing to go out again after washing their nets is proof that they were not dismayed by a night of failure.
    18. What a simple challenge…“follow me” (Mt.4:19 ).
    19. (11) Forsook all & followed Him – Then & There.
      1. This was truly the Turning-point in these men lives!
    20. 3 Stages for these chosen men:
      1. [1] Discipleship - They become His disciples about 1 yr ago.
      2. [2] Ministry - now they leave their business for active service.
      3. [3] Apostleship – ch.6.
    21. This group of business men ought to cause other business men & women to pause & see if Jesus is calling them to do likewise!
      1. Oh, & maybe not even leave there business, but maybe redirect it to Him? Maybe doing it in a foreign land for the sake of ministry purposes? Bringing Jesus into its profits?
    22. When Jesus forgives & transforms a sinner, he says the same thing to each new creation, “from now on, life will be different!”
    23. They responded w/a “don’t-look-back faith” that Jesus was looking for!
      1. Peter/Andrew…“left their nets”; James/John…“left their father”Mk1:20;
        1. next week Matthew…“will leave his booth”(5:28).
    24. We cannot follow Jesus until we are willing to forsake our own plans.
      1. This doesn’t mean He will always take you out of your present job
        1. ​​​​​​​put you on staff at a church or on the mission field!
      2. But the question is “Have you dared ask?”…yes you! - Not the guy next to you…YOU!
      3. “God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called!” (YWAM director Lauren Cunningham)
        1. But He requires Total Commitment!!!
        2. A call to obedience, confession, & commitment!
      4. 1st He called Peter to cut the ties from shore to go out into the deep. Next, to cut the ties of the past…for good!
    25. Q: What might He call you to leave on the beach?
      1. Peter finally got “the catch of a life time”, but not even that mattered, he left that also!
    26. Q: What did God do to get your attention to Him? - When you realized who Jesus was did you have an acute awareness of your sin? - What changes in your life can be traced back to your conversion?
    27. Here are 4 fishermen that got caught in Jesus’ net!
      1. He calls ordinary men, walking an ordinary life.
      2. Give God your ordinary life(you, just as you are now) & God will give you back, an extraordinary calling.” (Kent Hughes; pg.19)
        1. Notice the “I will make you!!!”
      3. I love that their 1st titles aren’t “bishops, pastors, elders, or deacons”,…but “fishers of men”!
      4. Without Jesus: Night of toil; Nothing taken; Nets empty! With Jesus: Full Nets; Full ship; Full hearts! (Griffith Thomas pg.103)
    28. I’ll make you fishers of men - “If the Bible is a missionary book, the people of the Book are charged with being a missionary people.”
      1. Q: How do you presently fish for men? Women? Children? Elderly?
      2. I have fished all my life! - I have learned I must take time to go fish. I must have a hook. I must fresh bait, or a lure. I must be patient. I must never yell at the fish for not jumping on my hook. Sometimes I’ve had to go back to the same pool a few times before I can catch a certain one. Sometimes I’ve tried & tried & have had to walk away to no avail. Sometimes I’ve tried others techniques & they haven’t worked for me personally. SometimesI’ve learned awesome techniques that I am indebted to friends for showing me them.
      3. As Thomas Boston(in 1699) the famous ‘Scottish Puritan’ once depicted it as “The art of Manfishing”!
      4. Our Nets? The Word of God; Our personal story! Our Bait? Loving words & deeds!
      5. As Jesus has been painting Himself into people’s lives & preparing them for salvation he says, “Now, you finish it.” - “Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?”
    29. Jesus will repeat this miracle at an important time for an important person “Peter” & for his restoration (Jn.21).
      1. And will tell him again to Follow me, even unto death!
      2. Follow me in Discipleship, in ministry, in death-to-self, in death itself if I require it!
      3. It seems Christ’s Clarion Call is “Excelsior!” (latin, Higher!)
        1. Henry Longfellow’s Poem: Excelsior! (a young man in a deplorable state climbing a mountain in the dead of winter) See Last page!
    30. Prayer:
      Lord we obediently launch out now into the deep of our community!
      Help us to let down our gospel nets, & use the bait of our lives!
      We fall at your Son Jesus’ knees, & own our own sinfulness!
      We forsake all, & chose to follow you & you alone!
    31. Invitation: The call to obedience, confession, & commitment!


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The shades of night were falling fast, As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, A banner with the strange device,


His brow was sad; his eye beneath, Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung The accents of that unknown tongue,


In happy homes he saw the light Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone, And from his lips escaped a groan,


"Try not the Pass!" the old man said: "Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide! And loud that clarion voice replied,


"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye, But still he answered, with a sigh,


"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night, A voice replied, far up the height,


At break of day, as heavenward The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer, A voice cried through the startled air,


A traveller, by the faithful hound, Half -buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice That banner with the strange device,


There in the twilight cold and gray, Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far, A voice fell, like a falling star,


Verses 12-16

  1. Intro:
    1. How much do you know about the Lepers in the bible? (Q&A)
      1. What leper of Bethany entertained Jesus in his home? Simon (Mrk 14:3)
      2. What king of Judah was a leper until the day of his death? Uzziah (2 Chrn 26:21)
      3. What captain of the armies of Syria was a leper? Naaman (2 Kgs 5:1)
      4. What prophetess became a snow-white leper for a short time? Miriam (Numb 12:10)
      5. Who put his hand into his bosom and, drawing it out, found it leprous? Moses (Ex 4:6)
      6. Who became a leper after he lied to the prophet Elisha? Gehazi (2 Kgs 5:27)
      7. Who told Moses to send lepers away from the Israelite camp? The Lord (Numb 5:1-4)
      8. What is the greatest number of lepers Jesus healed at any one time? Ten (Lk 17:12)
    1. Among the old Greek legends there is a story of a king who did some act of kindness to one of the gods, & was told that as a reward he could ask for any favor he would.The foolish king begged that everything he touched might become gold. At 1st everything went splendidly. He touched a stone it became a solid block of gold.He touched a twig it immediately became a stick of gold. But it also worked in other ways. As he picked up his food to eat, it became lumps of gold before it reached his mouth. Water became gold as it touched his mouth. He kissed his daughter & in an instant she became a statue of gold. He fled to the god & implored that he might be delivered from his curse. (Awake My Heart; Baxter; Aug. 7; pg.236)
      1. Such is the fable of an earthly king with a golden touch! But there is another king who, in all the lovelier moral & spiritual senses, is in the very truth, “the King with the Golden Touch!”
      2. Whatever His nail-scarred hand touches, it blesses & transfigures. It brings forgiveness, restoration, healing. It transforms atrophy, paralysis & moral leprosy into health, vitality, & wholeness.It awakens hope, faith, love, joy, goodwill. It dissolves fetters, & frees prisoners, & communicates power to live victoriously.
      3. This King w/a Golden Touch is none other than…Jesus Christ!
    2. Outline: [1] Look, a Leper! [2] Seeing Spots…My Spots [3] Hate the Leprosy, Love the Leper [4] Learning to Love a Leper!
  3. [1] LOOK, A LEPER!
    1. Leprosy – The Hebrews had no cure for leprosy other than Divineintervention. In modern times, there are very effective medicines available, & leprosy patients are usually not isolated. Now called Hansen’s Disease (“Hansen’s Disease”, after the Norwegian physician, Dr. Hansen, 33, discovers the leprosy bacillus(ba-sil-us).)
      1. Though, in spite of modern medical advances, an estimated 10 million people around the world have leprosy!
    2. (12) Full of leprosy – Far advanced.
      1. Their disease was a slow lingering death. [They died “inch by inch!”]
      2. Ken Gire writes [Incredible Moments w/the Savior], “There he lives. W/o love. W/o hope. W/o the simple joys & dignities of life: being smiled at…being greeted on the street…buying fresh fruit in the market… talking politics by the public fountain…laughing…getting to go to work…operating a business…haggling over prices w/a shopkeeper…getting a wedding invitation…singing hymns in the synagogue, celebrating Passover w/family. All these barred to him. Forever!
    3. AIDS seems to carry the same stigma & fear that these Lepers faced.
      1. Often times those who have contracted AIDS have been treated w/ disgust, as outcasts, & w/outright violence!
    4. Fell on his face & implored him – Lepers were not allowed to approach people; but the man came to Jesus in desperation.
      1. He falls at his feet like a pale wilted flower bowing before the Savior.
      2. This unclean person had broken through the regulations of the ceremonial law, & came close; but Jesus far from rebuking him broke through the law himself in order to meet him!
    5. If you are willing, You can make me clean – This man not only needed to be changed, but he wanted to be changed.
      1. He knew that Jesus had the power to heal him. His doubt was about his willingness (His care for Him, His Love, His compassion!)
      2. Men more easily believe in miraculous power than in miraculous love. (Robertson, A.. Word Pictures in the New Testament.)
    6. (14) Tell no one – “Strictly charged” (Mrk 1:43)
      1. It is a strong word for the snorting of a horse and expresses powerful emotion. (A.T.Roberson)
        1. The prohibition against talking about it was to allay excitement and to avoid needless opposition to Christ.
    7. Show yourself – to receive a certificate showing his cleansing.
      1. Without the formal testimony of the priests the people would not receive the leper as officially clean.
    8. The Effect of Disobedience! (15,16)
    9. Look at the effect of the Lepers disobedience - Read Mark 1:45.
      1. Now the Leper can go into the city…& Jesus is outside!
    10. The more the crowds came the more He withdrew & prayed w/the Father.
      1. Maybe the wild enthusiasm of the crowds was running ahead of their comprehension of Christ, & His mission & message?
    1. ​​​​​​​This Leprosy is More Than Skin Deep!
      1. ​​​​​​​The disease was not only on the surface…like sin, it was “deeper than the skin”. (this phrase was used 10 X’S in Lev.13, see vs.3)
        1. It delves into our uttermost core…the heart!
      2. Adam himself became a carrier of this disease! (you are a carrier too!)
      3. In 18th century England one pick-pocket had his hand cut off when he was caught stealing. The 2nd time caught his other hand. The 3rd time he was caught “pick pocketing with his teeth”!
        1. Even if they pulled out all his teeth, it wouldn’t have solved the problem because sin is deeper then the skin!
      4. Leprosy starts insignificant & painless at the start; slowly grows, with serious results to the person; repulsiveness to others; it was incurable by human means; ending only in death.
    2. Incurable!
      1. ​​​​​​​The leper could do nothing for his own cleansing & cure.
      2. Jeremiah the prophet preached a message to Judah “Your affliction is incurable, Your wound is severe. There is no one to plead your cause, That you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines.” (Jer.30:12,13)
        1. But then Jeremiah went onto say in vs.17 (NIV), “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.”
        2. WHY? “because…”God will not have it said, “no one cares for them!”
    3. Leprosy & Sin Symptoms!
      1. ​​​​​​​[It spreads, causes uncleanness, & isolates you]
      2. [a] Leprosy spreads in the system.
        1. Sin also, it is never content, but when we give into it, it just covets more & more, & starts spreading like wildfire.
        2. Jesus said, “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” Jn.8:24
    4. [b] Leprosy makes the person unclean,
      1. Sin makes us very “unclean” The angel to Joshua in "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." Zech 3:4
    5. [c] Leprosy must be isolated.
      1. “he shall dwell alone!” (see Lev.13:46)
      2. Sin isolates us from God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Is.59:2
    6. [d] Leprosy must dwell Outside the camp.
      1. Jesus went outside the camp to meet us & to die for us.
      2. Heb.13:12-14 “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”
      3. Jesus identified himself w/the outcasts.
    7. What we must do w/our spiritual leprosy?
    8. (1) We must recognize we are full of leprosy. See Is.1:5,6.
    9. (2) We must seek Jesus, enquire after him, acquaint ourselves with him.
    10. (3) We must humble ourselves before him (fall on our face). We must be ashamed of our pollution & blush to lift up our faces before the holy Jesus.
    11. (4) We must earnestly desire to be cleansed from the defilement, & cured of the disease, of sin, which renders us unfit for communion with God.
    12. (5) We must firmly believe Christ’s ability and sufficiency to cleanse us: Lord, you can make me clean, though I be full of leprosy!
    13. (6) We must refer ourselves to the good-will of Christ: Lord, if you will, you can
    1. ​​​​​​​Story – Father Damien of Molokai. - In 1873 a Belgian Catholic Priest was sent to minister to lepers on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. When he arrived he immediately began to meet each one of the lepers in the colony in hopes of building friendships. But, wherever he turned people shunned him. It seemed as though every door was closed. He poured his life into his work, erecting a chapel, beginning worship services, & pouring out his heart to the lepers. But it was to no avail! No one responded to his ministry. After 12 years Father Damien made the decision to leave. Dejectedly, he made his way to the docks to board a ship to take him back to Belgium. As he stood on the dock he wrung his hands nervously as he recounted his futile ministry among lepers. As he did he looked down at his hands & noticed some mysterious white spots & felt some numbness. Almost immediately he knew what was happening to his body. He had contacted leprosy! It was then that he knew what he had to do. He returned to the colony & to his work. Quickly the word about his disease spread through the colony. Within a matter of hours everyone knew. Hundreds of them gathered outside his hut; they understood his pain, fear, & uncertainty about the future. But the biggest surprise was the following Sunday. As Father Damien arrived at the chapel, he found 100’s of worshipers there. By the time the service began, the chapel was crowded, & many were gathered outside. His ministry became enormously successful. The reason? He was one of them. He understood & empathized w/them.
    2. The Lord’s Love for Lepers!
      1. ​​​​​​​In the Middle Ages Lepers were seen as “cursed by humans, loved by God.”
      2. God had concern for the leper & made certain he or she was treated w/dignity in the OT.
        1. Yet, God was also concerned for “the rest of his people” who didn’t have it, thus isolation was important so it wouldn’t spread.
      3. They were not to be “banned” but to be “quarantined” until better.
        1. Yet, this cut them off from the rest of society, including their families.
      4. God gave the priest all the information needed to detect the disease & make sure it did not spread.
        1. “It would have been devastating to isolate someone who was really not infected, or declare someone clean who was unclean!” (Wiersbe)
    3. What we may expect from Christ, if we thus apply ourselves to him.
    4. (1) He showed how low he could stoop. His touching the leper was wonderful condescension.
      1. Like father Damien to the leper colony, so Christ became one of us!
    5. (2) We shall find him very compassionate, and ready to relieve us.
      1. He is so willing to cleanse leprous souls.
      2. Jesus was always accessible, even to the vilest!
    6. (3) We shall find him all-sufficient, and able to heal and cleanse us, though we be ever so full of this loathsome leprosy.
    7. (4) One word, one touch, from Christ, did the business: Immediately the leprosy departed from him.
      1. ​​​​​​​If Christ says, "I will, be justified, be sanctified,’’ it is done; for he has power on earth to forgive sin, and power to give the Holy Spirit.
      2. Which felt better? The Word, or the touch?
        1. [Ken Gire] “I wonder. How long has it been since someone has shaken his hand…patted him on the back…put an arm around his waist…rubbed his shoulders…hugged him…stroked his hair …touched his cheek…wiped a tear from his eye…or kissed him?”
      3. Jesus healed by touching 4 x’s that we know of: [1] This Leper w/a Cleansing touch; [2] Peter’s Mother-in-law w/a Healing touch; [3] Two Blind men w/a Enlightening touch; [4] Raising the widows son w/a Life-Giving touch.
    1. It is of the very essence of Christianity to “touch the untouchable, to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgivable.” [Jesus did & so must we]
    2. If we define Lepers as those who are isolated, unwanted, the discards of society…Q: Who are the Lepers in our society today? Q: Who are the Lepers in your sphere of influence? Q: Who are the Lepers in your church?

      Q: Who are the Lepers in the Murrieta/Temecula Valley?
      Q: Who is the 1 person on your child’s sports team that no one likes?
      Q: Who is the 1 parent that’s so obnoxious?
      Q: Who is the biggest complaining neighbor on the block?
      Q: The 1 relative that everyone runs from when they come into the room?
      Q: The 1 youth you see that dresses the scariest?
    3. Q: What do you need Jesus to touch today?
      1. Touch your heart that you might Learn to Love a Leper this week?
      2. Or to touch your spiritual Leprosy? - Hear from Jesus this morning, “I am willing, be cleansed!” [He touched this leper; He yearns to touch you today!]

Verses 17-26

  1. Intro:
    1. Presidents Day – When George Washington was leaving home to begin, what would become his lifelong service for his country, he recorded the parting words of his mother, Mrs. Mary Washington: “Remember that God is our only sure trust. To Him, I commend you…my son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer.” (America’s God & Country; pg.635,636)
      1. Pray: Our President.
    2. Many healings so far, & lastly a leper was made spot free!
      1. As ministry cranked up, Jesus made more time to be alone with His Father! (vs.16) – Too busy not to pray!
    3. OUTINE: Hindered By Many; Carried By Four; Lifted By One!
    4. Intro Story As a young lad I remember running into our back bathroom next to our kitchen to wash my hands. I would turn on the water & do a “hand drive by”. I could skip my palm across the soap (so I could say I used it) & through the water & hit the towel in breakneck speed.
      1. This one evening I think I went too quick! - My dad asked, “did you wash”, I said yes, & he checked! (he’s never checked) [mom must have tipped him off] Any ways, he marched me in & showed me this scrubber (I thought it was for the tile) – when I got done with that scrub “I KNEW I WAS CLEAN!
      2. As a youth I went to a priest for forgiveness. I said what ever prayers I was given. But I was never sure I was clean! (I felt a little more holy? I trusted in the system? But was I clean?)
  2. FORGIVEN! (17-26)
    1. [1] HINDERED BY MANY!
    2. Life on a 3x6 Matt!
      1. His 1st Hindrance was his physical malady.
      2. Q: Ever laid in one place for a long time & start noticing shapes in the ceiling tiles?
      3. Life for him was pretty much reduced to a horizontal one.
        1. No convalescent hospital to be cared for; no physical therapist; no medical breakthroughs; no miracle drug; no specialist; no neurosurgeon. (“Incredible Moments” Ken Gire; pg.21)
        2. Life as he knew it was a 3’x6’ prison!
      4. His life, in his culture & time period, could be summed up to “dependency, humiliation, confinement, boredom, loneliness, frustration, & despair.”…until this special day!
    3. Hindered By The Crowds!
    4. His 2nd Hindrance was the crowds.
      1. They wouldn’t move to let them in. “Hello, we’re busy in Bible Study for Pete’s Sake!”
      2. In every crowd there seem to be Seekers, Spectators, & Spies.
    5. Hindered By The Religious!
    6. His 3rd Hindrance was the Religious group.
      1. Pharisees & teachers of the Law sitting by – They could jumped up
        1. lifted a hand! – Here were the real paralytics!
      2. Instead they are only concerned who is rocking the religious boat!
    7. Hindered By his own Heart!
    8. His 4th Hindrance was the sin in his heart.
      1. Doctors estimate that 50% of all physical sickness comes from emotional & spiritual problems: bitterness in spirit, an unforgiving spirit, holding grudges.
      2. The most easily identified is probably the “ulcer” which are not caused by what you are eating but by what is eating you!
    9. Maybe the problem you are facing today is not your wife or husband, not your boss, & not your parents. Your problem is sin.
      1. There are times when we think that our greatest needs are for healing, for friendship, for more money. - Jesus helps us focus on the real issues of life: & our 1st need is the need for forgiveness
        1. transformed hearts. (The Teachers Commentary; Libronix)
      2. Ps: I’m not saying this man had paralysis because of sin!!!
    10. [2] CARRIED BY FOUR!
    11. A Little Band Of Believers!
    12. Four Men & a Brainstorm!
      1. Ok they were latecomers…but faith brought them!
      2. They weren’t put off by the crowd of people thronging the front door. {Honey, Calvary’s parking lot’s full, let’s just go to IHOP!}
      3. They didn’t use the excuse, “it must not be the Lord”!
      4. They weren’t put off by the crowd of people that shooed & shushed them away! - They thought hmmm…“The outside stairs!!!”
        1. Explain homes: Saw a house uncovered in Chorazin(Korazim) “Woe unto you Chorazin”. Stone on top, then dirt on that.
    13. Jesus saw their faith! - Not the paralytic’s faith, but the faithful fours fabulous faith!
      1. He saw their persistent, creative, & sacrificial faith!
        1. Body surf him over the crowd…nay!
      2. He saw 4 sweaty men willing to put a shoulder to their faith! (“Incredible Moments” Ken Gire; pg.24)
        1. Gal.6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens.”
      3. They tore up someone’s roof, interrupted a home bible study, & inconvenienced everyone else that was listening.
      4. Jesus did say regarding his kingdom “the violent take it by force.”
        1. It’s a faith that laughs at barriers!
      5. But what’s more important a roof, or a man? (They weren’t asking, “Does he have homeowners insurance?”)
        1. I’m sure they fixed it, & actually it would be pretty easy to do.
        2. Too many people are more interested in the place, or the program, instead of the people!
    14. They didn’t say we can’t preach – they didn’t need to, they “acted!”
      1. They thought, what CAN we do? – We can bear his soul on our hearts! - We can get him to Jesus who we know can help! – we can remove tile! – we can hand him down!
      2. If you can’t talk (or don’t know what to say), Can you weep for their soul?
      3. Maybe you can’t break through with language, but maybe you can w/compassion!
    15. Pastor Ray Stedman uncovered their names: Frank Faith, Harry Hope, Larry Love, & Dan Determination. (Ray Stedman; pg.40)
      1. Frank Faith said, “I believe we can get this man to Jesus.” Harry Hope said, “I believe there is hope for this man” Larry Love said, “I really love this guy. I hate his sin but love him.”Dan Determination said, “Let’s roll!”
      2. And so we have light starting to stream in. 40 fingers digging through the roof. Dust. People coughing. Dirt particles falling on the religious leaders robes that were just back from the cleaners!
    16. Many people will never come to Jesus unless somebody brings them!
      1. The bible doesn’t say anywhere that sinners are to come to church! Everywhere in the bible it’s clear the church is to go where sinners are (ibid; pg.38)
      2. We are to be engaged in going out where cripples are, & bringing them to Jesus!
    17. The paralytic’s friends provided a model for caring for shut-ins!
      1. What are some practical ways we can follow their example?
      2. Q: Do you know anyone that is bed ridden? Anyone in a convalescent home? Anyone in the hospital? Any lonely?
      3. Take them Communion! Take them Worship! Take them Prayer! Take them a Daily Bread Devotional! Take em a Bible Study CD! Take them a Worship CD! Take them just yourself!
      4. Go to where people are! - Go out & find someone to minister to. Prison visitation; Convalescent home; Find a need & meet it.
    18. [3] LIFTED BY ONE!
    19. It seems there is always in life: some who want to hold you back; some that will always hold you up; & Jesus to always hold you in His Heart!
    20. It wasn’t what Jesus heard that captured His heart it was what He saw
      1. Looking up Jesus sees there 4 heads silhouetted, thinking “These guys are good!”
    21. Jesus Smiles: The Prince meets the Paralytic & the face of God smiles & says, “Be of good cheer!”(Mt.9:2) then, “Son, your sins are forgiven you!”
      1. Within that emaciated body lies a crippled soul, paralyzed from sin, atrophied from shame.
    22. Jesus is about to trap the trappers! (Like Wile E. Coyote trying to trap the Road Runner in all his ACME traps…he always ended up in his own trap!)
    23. Syllogism - argument involving 3 propositions: it’s made up of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. An example is: “all birds have feathers, penguins are birds, therefore penguins have feathers.”
      1. They reason: [1] Jesus claims the power to forgive sins. [2] Only God can forgive sin. [3] Therefore Jesus commits blaspheme.
      2. Correct major & minor, but wrong conclusion.
      3. It should be: [1] This Man forgives sins. [2] Only God can forgive sin. [3] Therefore this Man is God!
      4. Precisely the point. Their reasoning was exact…but it didn’t bring them to Christ.
      5. “If that hole in the roof teaches us anything, it’s that faith is what brings a person to Jesus, not intellectual reasoning’s. Curiosity crowded the classroom, but it was faith that dug through the roof to bring the paralytic to the feet of Christ.” (“Incredible Moments” Ken Gire; pg.25)
    24. Which is easier? – Both are easy to say. But both are equally impossible to dounless of course you are God!
      1. In that case one is as easy as the other!
      2. Any Charlatan or snake charmer could say, “your sins are forgiven!”
      3. Jesus does here what NO mortal man can do…forgive sins …against God!
      4. No person, no priest, no pastor, no denomination can do this!
        1. Sin is against God. You can’t go to anyone else for forgiveness. [i.e. if you sin against Mary, can you go to Jane for forgiveness? – No, you must go to whom you’ve sinned against]
      5. Q: What is Christianity? What is the distinctive thing that Christianity has to proclaim to men? – The forgiveness of sin!
    25. The healing of the body is a great miracle, but it does not last.
      1. The forgiveness of sin is God’s greatest miracle, It lasts forever, & accomplishes the greatest good!
      2. “God’s goal isn’t to do a patchwork job on our lives…He came to make us whole!” (Warren Wiersbe; pg.656)
      3. Spiritual healing is of much more value then a physical one. When Jesus heals a person’s spirit in salvation, there is also the healing of bitterness, hatred, lust, anger, gossip, & the like.
      4. Physical paralysis is terrible, but worse yet is spiritual paralysis!
        1. We are all spiritual cripples.
    26. (12a) The crowd that refused him entrance, now parts like the Red Sea in amazement, to make way for his exit!
      1. The bed that carried him, he now carried.
      2. Once the sign of his sickness, now the sign of his cure!
        1. Like them man whose money was his life. It was his only interest. It was all he lived for. Money was the sign of his sickness. Then he gets saved, & starts using his money to serve Jesus, & get people to Jesus. The sign of his sickness is now the sign of his cure!
    27. Glorifying God – Folks that’s what its all about!
      1. And how do you picture them departing? - I picture 5 grown men, arm-in-arm, laughing, even skipping down the street, w/tears of joy streaming down their cheeks! {Healed! - Made whole! - Forgiven!}
    28. A little boy had disobeyed his mother, he got out his slate chalkboard & wrote, “Mom, I’m sorry I was bad. If you forgive me, wipe this out.” The next time he came by, his mother had wiped it clean.
      1. Jesus has promised to do that for you!
      2. Q: Has Jesus ever personally said to you, “Your sins are forgiven?”
        1. Invitation: Hold your chalkboard out to Him this morning. He’ll wipe it clean!
        2. Job 14:17 “My transgression is sealed up in a bag, & you cover(lit. plaster over) my iniquity.”
    29. To do?
      1. We need to “raise some roofs” in order to get people to Jesus!
      2. We need to do some difficult, out-of-the-ordinary, irregular things. “No crowd too thick; no stairs too steep; no wall too high to climb; no roof too thick!”
      3. Thank the friends that brought you originally to Jesus!
        1. 1 gave a clear baton “Thanks for passing this on to me!”
      4. Be more sensitive to others who have other forms of Paralysis:
        1. Crippled by some debilitating set of circumstances.
        2. Immobilized by some chronic disease of the soul.
        3. Stunned by divorce.
        4. Numbed by the death of a loved one.
        5. Buried under a heavy load of depression.
        6. Shattered by a broken relationship.
    30. End: “Remember that God is our only sure trust. To Him, I commend you…my friends, neglect not the duty of secret prayer!”

Verses 27-32

  1. Intro:
    1. Tax Collector – “A man walked into the tax collector’s office & sat down &smiled at everyone. “May I help you?” said the clerk in charge. “No,” said the man, “I just wanted to meet the people I have been working for all these years.”
    1. JESUS AT THE I.R.S.! (27,28)
    2. Tax office – This was a tax station in Capernaum on an important trade route. Tax collectors were also used to excise taxes for port duties & fishing tolls.
      1. Traveling from the Roman province to the N/E the 1st town a traveler would come to was Capernaum. Thus the tax office was placed on this busy thoroughfare.
    3. There were 2 kinds of taxes in those days: Stated Taxes & other Duties.
      1. Stated Taxes Poll Tax(all men 14-65 & women 12-65 had to pay just for being alive!); Ground Tax(1/10th of all grain; & 1/5th all wine/oil produced; also there was a Tax on fish[which is what Capernaum was famous for]); Income Tax(1% of one’s annual income). (William L. Lane)
      2. Duties – Here was the most opportunity for abuse.
        1. These were taxes for: using roads, harbor docks, sales tax, import/export duties. A Tax was even paid on a cart…each wheel was taxed! (Kent Hughes; pg.68)
        2. If you didn’t have the money to pay NO PROBLEM!...they also loaned money…at an exorbitant rate!
    4. Tax collectors – Were outcasts from society.
      1. The name Tax collector always linked sinners (sinners/harlots)
      2. They collaborated w/a foreign government.
        1. The Romans collected their taxes through a system called “Tax Farming” (like our Franchises today)
        2. They would pay the government for the right to collect taxes, & then collected far more than was really due.
        3. Known as “leeches” (Lockyer; All the Men of the Bible pg.232)
          1. “Gorging themselves w/money in the process of gathering money for the Caesars…”
      3. They were swindlers, money-hungry, & despised.
      4. Barclay said, “So rare was honesty in the profession that a Roman writer said he once saw a monument to an honest Tax collector!”
      5. See – What John the Bap said about them Lk.3:12,13.
      6. They had daily contact w/all kinds of other “unclean” people.
      7. It was bad enough when Gentiles collected taxes for Rome, but when Jews did it, the stigma was even greater.
      8. “Sinners” here means the common people who paid little heed to the religious scruples of the Pharisees. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.22)
      9. But Praise God…we have a God who cares about the despised!
    5. Follow me – (Levi = join or adhesion) His original name linked with the Tribe(Levi), yet he couldn’t have gotten farther away!
      1. No longer a patriot of his country. Often would have to work on the Sabbath, thus “forbidden to enter the synagogue”.
      2. Once joined to this foreign power & to crooked ways, now Levi, join Me! (did Jesus change his name, or did he change it himself?)
        1. Matthew = Gift of Jehovah!
      3. Join me in the way, & travel with me. - He asked for complete submission, but he asked for it, in fellowship. - Come & travel with me; take my road, be My friend, be my companion. (Morgan)
    6. (28) 100% commitment!
      1. Remember the Chicken & the Pig walking by a restaurant & noticed a charity was going on, serving Bacon & Egg breakfast. The Chicken said, “let’s go in & give to the charity”. The Pig said,“No way! For you it’s only a contribution, but for me it’s a commitment!!!”
      2. James & John, Peter & Andrew could always go back to fishingas they did later!
        1. But not for Matthew, he burned his bridges completely!
        2. He staked everything on Christ! [God never goes back on the man who stakes his all on Him]
        3. Matthew left everything…except his Pen & Ink!!!
        4. Writing one of the most important documents of all time!
    8. THE FEAST! (29)
      1. Interesting we don’t hear Jesus say, “NO Levi! get away from your old friends, they’ll take you down!”
        1. Yes, there is some things to be wise to. If you’re struggling with drugs, alcohol, etc, then you don’t want to place yourself in situations where you will stumble back to your old ways.
        2. But wouldn’t you agree, what we are most comfortable with is getting them away from all their friends & sometimes even some family, to “protect & preserve them!”
        3. But doesn’t this seem like a good plan for new believers to follow? To introduce their old friends to their New Friend before they drop them as friends?
      2. Was Jesus “there” but kind of stand-off-ish? No way! He was reclining with them & they were with Him! (Mark 2:15)
        1. Sinners, very comfortable around Him! [That’s my Jesus!]
    9. A 3-Fold Feast:
      1. [1] A Jubilee Feast to commemorate his translation into a new life
        1. There is the natural response of a truly regenerated soul!...To honor Christ!
        2. Lk.15:32[NIV] “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
      2. [2] A Farewell Feast A public confession of surrender to the call of Christ.
      3. [3] A Evangelistic Feast - Levi invites some of his business associates to meet Jesus.
        1. Great idea to do before “becoming a missionary, or going on staff at a church, or para-church org.”
        2. Levi knew many would come to his house to meet Christ, who would not go to the synagogue to hear Him!
        3. Am I reaching to far to say that it is doubtless many tax collectors & sinners learned that day that Christ did not despise them.
    10. Q: Are you too good to dine w/your pagan family members, or friends?
      1. But, uncle Larry the lush will be there; sleazy aunt Sally; bad mouth brother Bob; snotty sister Suzy.
        1. Surely I shouldn’t subject my children to that!
        2. Join the real world!…Teach your children through it (of course there is a line to draw!)
    11. THE GRUMBLERS! (30)
      1. Yeah! They finally found something they could grumble about regarding Him!
    12. Q: We would never see ourselves as Pharisees but the question is, do we act like them?
      1. We seem to arrange our lives so that we are with non-believers as little as possible!
        1. We attend Christian bible studies where almost everyone is Christian, we play sports with Christians, eat dinner w/Christians, go to Christians doctors, call Christian plumbers, & even take our pets to Christian vets!
        2. ​​​​​​​We are to “keep the faith”, but not from others!
      2. Listen carefully to Jesus’ prayer, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” Jn.17:15(niv)
        1. Not to remove them from danger & opposition but to preserve them in the midst of conflict!
      3. History records that when Oliver Cromwell ruled England, the nation experienced a crisis: They ran out of silver & could not mint any coins. Cromwell sent his soldiers to the Cathedral to see if any silver was available. They reported back that the only silver was the statues of the saints, to which Cromwell replied, “Melt down the saints & get them back into circulation.”
        1. Sometimes God must do that w/us!
    13. THE REASON HE CAME! (31,32)
    14. While the Scribes & Pharisees stood on their lil soap boxes of contempt, looking down their noses of neglect; Jesus donned his white Doctors smock & went to work in a hospital of hurting souls!
      1. Luke presents Jesus as the “friend of sinners”. (Ibid.; pg.21)
        1. Since, Jesus freely associated w/all kinds of people. This placed him on a collision course w/the Pharisees.
      2. Interesting, Luke shares with us a story(Lk.19) of one more Tax Collector, who was “vertically challenged”(Zaccheus) in which Jesus doesn’t wait for the invitation to his house, but invites Himself over…immediately!
      3. Jesus used the analogy of the Physician who went where the sick people were. (Isn’t that where you’d expect to find a doctor, working…around sick people???)
        1. Q: Wouldn’t it be odd to find a doctor sitting around talking to all the friends & family of the sick people in the waiting room, instead of caring for the patients?
        2. Why send a doctor to someone who is not sick? Why offer financial assistance to a man who is not poor? Why throw a life preserver to a man not drowning?
      4. Jesus rejects their separatism & expressed his desire to reach out to those in spiritual need. (Willmington’s Bible Handbook; Libronix.)
        1. “But these are the very people I’ve come to save!”
      5. True Christianity has always broken down economic, social, ethnic, & racial barriers.
      6. Q: Were there any present who were “well” that day?
      7. Q: Were there any present that didn’t need a physician?
        1. No, but a doctor isn’t going to try to examine or work on someone who says they’re well.
        2. The Pharisees could not be made well until they would admit they were spiritually sick!
      8. The real condition of mankind…we are diseased!
        1. We have moral maladies!
        2. In Creole (Haiti) we ask, “Koman ou-ye”. They respond “Tre byen, or pa pi mal, or M-malad!” (very fine, so/so, I’m sick) should answer M-malad, so we might be healed by the great physician.
        3. So with these moral maladies, the soul has its disorders.
        4. We are not degrading human nature. We realize we are the workmanship of God, made in His image. So physically & intellectually, no problem, it is only morally that is an issue.
      9. Read Hos.6:1,2 – Sometimes the Physician “Hurts to Heal!”
        1. Example: My Broken arm reset by the doc in 4th grade.
    15. According to our text, there is hope for even the worst of patients!!!
    16. Centuries ago a number of workmen were seen dragging a great marble block into the city of Florence, Italy. It had come from the famous marble quarry of Carrara, & was intended to be made into a statue of a great OT prophet. But it contained imperfections, & when the great sculptorDonatello saw it, he refused it at once. So there it lay in the cathedral yard, a useless block. 1 day another sculptor caught sight of the flawed block. But as he examined it, there rose in his mind something of immense beauty, & he resolved to sculpt it. For 2 years the artist worked feverishly on the work of art. Finally, on Jan.25, 1504, the greatest artists of the day assembled to see what he had made of the despised & rejected block. Among them were Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, & Pietro Perugino, the teacher of Raphael. As the veil dropped to the floor, the statue was met w/a chorus of praise. It was a masterpiece! The succeeding centuries have confirmed that judgment. Michelangelo’s David is 1 of the greatest works of art the world has ever known. (ibid; pg.69,70)
    17. Jesus saw in the flawed life of Levi…a Matthew! (writer/ evangelist)
      1. Jesus sees in us what no one else sees!
      2. Jesus wanted the man no one else wanted!
      3. Levi received a name change to Matthew (“Gift of God”)
    18. Matthew was not only called to leave everything, but also to find a friend/companion for the coming pathway! Fellowship was offered!
      1. Follow me! – young & old; men & women;…will you follow Him?
    19. End Prayer: Lord, melt us back down & get us back into circulation!

Verses 33-39

  1. Intro:
    1. Q: Is it proper for a Christian to have fun, joy, pleasure, happiness, excitement, delight?
      1. It’s not only ok, it’s right! – Eccl.3:12,13.
      2. Ps.16:11 “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”
    2. Outline: [1] Messiah’s Merry Men [2] Spandex Stretch Pants [3] Bota Bag Believers!
    1. MESSIAH’S MERRY MEN! (33-35)
    2. Intro: Still at the feast in Levi’s house.
      1. Important side note: Mark 2:18 “The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting”J
      2. Think about it, ever been fasting when everyone else is feasting?
        1. Bummer time to fast!
    3. (33) The question!
      1. Even today, Jesus & His ministry are misunderstood!
    4. The Problem: “They’re having too much fun!”
      1. They would say, “Religion should be hard, rigid, rigorous, inflexible, stiff, strict, and mournful!”
      2. Jewish customs weren’t wrong, but must be altered by His coming.
      3. It’s not austere & rigid duties of ceremonial Law. - It’s not stern & harsh requirements.
      4. Q: Does this describe your religion at all?
      5. Q: Have you ever caught yourself resenting other Christians being joyful?
    5. (34) To the Pharisees religion was a funeral; but to Jesus it was a wedding!
      1. The figure of a Wedding in that day consisted of: Ceremonies, Merriment & Festivity lasting 7 days.
      2. The groom was treated like a king, & his bride like a queen.
        1. Guests were expected to enjoy themselves & thus add to the joy of the occasion!
        2. Q: Do you have a relative that at “any” family event they are having a doggie downer of a day?
        3. Not to show joy was an insult to the family giving the wedding! (Warren Wiersbe; Windows on the Parables; pg.36.)
    6. Jesus disciples can’t fast because He was with them!
      1. It is actually inappropriate at a wedding!
      2. With Him in their midst, how could they be anything but joyful?
      3. Q: Are ascetic practices necessary to demonstrate our loyalty to Him?
      4. His presence called for a celebration, not mourning!
      5. Q: Do we get this? Do we really believe this?
        1. If you know the bridegroom, you’ll share His Joy!
      6. Rom.7:4 “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead.
        1. Married to Christ you experience: the joy of sins forgiven; the joy of answered prayer; the joy of fellowship; the joy of service; the joy of bringing forth fruit unto God; the joy of faith; the joy of doing good; the joy of giving hope to those who are in trouble.
    7. (35) There will be plenty of time to fast later.
      1. Fasting in OT: Only once commanded, only 1 time a year.
        1. Day of Atonement (Lev.23:27-32) “afflict your soul”.
      2. Fasting in NT: Never commanded. But seems to be inferred we would.
        1. Jesus fasted; Jesus said, “when you fast”(inferring we would); Jesus fasted; Antioch church fasted before they sent out Paul & Bar.(Acts 13:2); Paul & Barn did as they appointed elders in every church(Acts14:23); Husbands & wives should if they are abstaining from each other(1 Cor.7); Paul said, “in fasting often”.
      3. During the Captivity the Jews came up with more occasions to fast (Zech.7) The question they came up with: “Was it proper to continue a fast marking the destruction of the temple as our fathers have for the last 70 years…with this new one being built?”
        1. How easy to fall into the Self-imposed rather than the Scripturally-imposed!
      4. Q: Are you asking, what is ceremonial protocol? Or, what is my deeper devotion to Jesus?
      5. The pious Pharisees fasted twice each week! – Lk.18:12
        1. They obviously viewed fasting as a mark of special commitment & dedication.
      6. Immature people require religious regulations to tell them what to do, & these help them to measure their “spiritual life”.
        1. Our relationship w/the Lord isn’t so much a matter of traditions & rules, as it is: Faith, Love, & a desire to Please Him!
      7. One argued that, “if a guy dates a girl for 2 hours(& if God is more important to him), then he ought to spend more than 2 hours w/God or consider himself backslidden.” (Leonard Ravenhill; Revival Praying; pg.71 (quoted in Jim Townsends book Minor Prophets))
        1. The problem with many such ever-so-spiritual-sounding statements is that they are of human manufacturing rather then heaven’s manufacturing.
        2. Let’s hold to the old Youth for Christ slogan: “Geared to the times, but anchored to the Rock”.
    8. Its too bad the average person on the street sees such poor examples of Christian living that he thinks trusting Christ means the end of your enjoyment!
      1. He doesn’t realize that Jesus gives us “richly all things to enjoy!” 1 Tim.6:17
        1. [NIV] “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment
    9. Q: Is your fellowship with Christ a feast or a funeral?
    10. Prayer: “Lord, help us not to have a religion of habit but a religion of the heart! Lord, turn some of our religious fasts into righteous feasts!
    12. Problem: If you patch old brittle garments with new cloth, the cloth will shrink when washed, & you will have a bigger tear than before.
    13. Q: What happens when formal religion when counters the new life which Jesus brings?
      1. Heb.10:9 “Here I(Jesus) am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second(Cov.).”
        1. The two covenants are incompatible.
        2. Jesus’ way simply can’t be “patched onto” Judaism like a piece of cloth.
      2. And what made Judaism so inadequate to contain the new way of the gospel?
        1. No longer pliable, can’t stretch.
      3. Q: Are we ready for change? Q: Are you uncomfortable being comfortable yet?
      4. Q: Are we like a brittle old cloth ready to rip; or as flexible as Spandex Stretch Pants?
      5. Many churches today refuse anything new, & as a consequence lack Joy & Power that God has for them!
        1. Other churches accept every new gimmick that comes along. (Big Diff.)
    14. Jesus didn’t come to “patch” people’s lives, but to make them whole!
    15. Patches are safe for a time, until the garment is washed! [Then it fell apart!]
      1. Religion seems safe for a time, until…
      2. It can patch up a few spots in your life, but it cannot give you new life that transforms.
      3. The Pharisees wanting to be conservative became “preservative”! (www)
      4. They had embalmed their traditions, & found themselves dead right!
      5. Jesus wasn’t a conformer, nor a reformer, but a Transformer! (www)
    16. Q: What’s your attitude toward change?
    17. BOTA BAG BELIEVERS! (37-39)
    18. Problem: If you put new wine into old brittle wineskins, the fermenting liquid will produce gas, & the skins will burst. [Thus, new wine required new skins]
    19. The natural man likes his old ways. He likes his old wine, that is, his old religion. (J. Vernon McGee)
      1. It’s problem? The old skin is not sufficiently pliable.
    20. Jesus didn’t come to mix the old & the new, but to bring new life to all who trust Him!
      1. Jesus shows that he represented a new phase in what God was doing on earth!
        1. A new day has dawned!
      2. Christ taught life must not be a mixture “you cannot serve two masters!”
        1. Paul said, “to me to live is Christ!”
      3. You can’t have 2 strings to your bow; You can’t trust in Christ & your works for salvation; You can’t mix Law & Grace; You can’t follow the world & Christ at the same time. (Lockyer; All the Parables of the Bible; pg.162)
    21. There must be an adaptation to new times, places, & circumstances.
      1. At Pentecost those mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
    22. New wine in an old wine skin is safe for a time, until fermentation.
      1. Religion seems safe for a time, until…
    23. (39) The tragedy is some still say, “the old wine of the Law is better!” & do not want the new. [The book of Hebrews was written to explain how much better the new covenant faith is] (Warren Wiersbe; Expository Outlines.)
      1. Something about us resists change!
      2. We need to long to see the wind of the Spirit blow in fresh transforming power.
    24. Basically the Pharisees were saying, “Just give me some of that old time religion!...It’s good enough for me!”
      1. It was good for our mothers. And it’s good enough for me.
      2. It was good for our fathers. And it’s good enough for me.
      3. It will do when I am dying. And it’s good enough for me.
      4. It will take us all to heaven. And it’s good enough for me.
    25. Fermented Christianity!
      1. Maybe you say, “I’m new wine!” – Q: Are you still?
        1. Or, have you become old & fermented?
        2. Q: Do you crave a pattern/mold to your Christianity?
      2. Q: Are we as a movement new wine? Or, are we still living in our past?
      3. Q: Are we as a church new wine? Or, are we still living in our past?
      4. Q: Are we as individuals new wine? Or, are we still living in our past?
      5. My favorite question I read, Are you looking at the future in your rearview mirror???
      6. Here my heart: I crave a change. We can’t play church anymore. There’s more to our faith than this. There’s more to experiencing God. Being open to His Spirit & his leading. Discontent with the Christian status quo. It’s being desperate for God. It’s finding our Passion & releasing it. It’s an unleashed faith. It’s an untamed faith. It’s not settling with just a patch on my old life, but a complete makeover! It’s experiencing the new wine of Joy!!!
    26. Weaving this altogether:
    27. Jesus saw the feast in Levi’s house like a wedding-feast, which in a spiritual sense it was, seeing it celebrated Matthew’s union with Christ (Lockyer; All the Parables of the Bible; pg.161)
      1. Jesus died to place a New Garment of His righteousness on us.
      2. Jesus rose to give us the New Wine of the gospel, which must be placed in the New Wineskin of Grace, not into the old wineskin of the law.
      3. 2 Cor.5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become NEW.”
    28. End: Like the wedding tradition that says, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!”
      1. In this section we had something old(old religion); something new(new life); but truly nothing borrowed(we own eternal life); nothing blue (only Joy!)
    29. Q: What part will you play in bringing life to your church & to the lives of others?
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Luke 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/luke-5.html. 2017.
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