Luke 5:17-26
The Most Unusual Event

Jesus is teaching,  The crowds around Him have swelled so large that there is
literally no room in or around the house they are in, yet the people continue to
gather.  We are not given His specific text or His topic, but I imagine that
Jesus is probably teaching something about sin, salvation, and God.  As the
people are engrossed in what Jesus is saying, all of a sudden, dust and dirt
begins to fall from the ceiling above.  As the people look up, they notice
sounds coming from the roof.  Now, Jesus has stopped teaching and everyone is
looking up toward the sound of hammering and talking.  In a few moments, the
ceiling breaks open to allow sunlight through.  A few moments later and down
through the newly-made hole in the ceiling comes a make-shift gurney, being
lowered by four men, each holding a rope attached to the corner of the gurney.

I doubt that you and I have ever been in a church service like that!  That service
was very unusual.

Of course, the unusual events of that day did not stop.  Jesus takes the man
that was paralyzed and heals him.  Nothing all that fancy was done.  Jesus told
the paralyzed man to get up, and he got up.  That would have been a sight to
behold.

All of these would have been unusual events, but they were not the most unusual
event that occurred that day.
    1. Jesus probably healed people everyday.
    2. Indeed, this is not the only Biblical reference to Jesus healing someone
        who could not walk.
        a. One called impotent was also healed in \\#John 5:1-9\\.
        b. \\Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8\\ appear to be this story being told
            again.
    3. Besides what is recorded in the Scripture, the Bible tells us that Jesus
        did many other signs and wonders which if they had been recorded, all
        the books of the world could not contain them all.
    4. The most unusual event of that day was not the healing that Jesus gave
        but the statement that Jesus made.

In Luke 5:20, Jesus said, "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee."

Now that is an unusual statement.  If it had ever been uttered before that day,
it was likely spoken by an unstable person.  Why would these words in that
order ever be used prior to that day?  Who else could have ever offered
forgiveness of sins?

However, on this day, these words, spoken by this Man, have a powerful meaning.

    I. These words mean that sin does exist.
        A. Many in our world today have declared the concept of sin to be antiquated 
            and outdated.
            1. Previous conceptions about morals, right and wrong, proper and
                improper are just old fashioned.
            2. That is obvious not just in America but around the world as old
                laws which defined morality are being wiped off the books.
        B. But Jesus used the word SIN and by using this word, Jesus was
           testifying to the reality of sin.
        C. Perhaps you are one who does not believe in sin.  Might I suggest
            to you that it is all around you?
            1. If you will honestly look, you will see sin in your life.
                a. Sin is what makes you do bad things.
                b. There should not be a person in the whole world who should
                    need to be convinced that he has done bad things.
                c. Granted, the things you have done may not be as bad as the
                    things that I have done, but bad is bad all the same.
                d. Some examples of bad things are telling a lie,
                    disobeying a parent,
                    saying something unkind,
                    using bad words,
                    thinking some wicked thought,
                    robbing a bank,
                    committing adultery,
                    murdering a person.
                e. You do not have to do all of these things to have sinned.
                    Doing any one of them proves that sin exists in your life.
                f. Also understand that it makes no difference how man legally
                    categorizes these behaviors.  Whether mankind calls them a
                    crime or not, all of humanity should universally agree that
                    these things are bad.
                g. If you would agree that you have done a bad thing, you should
                    be able to agree that sin is in the world, for sin is doing
                    bad things.
                h. The only difference is calling something bad and calling it
                    sin is that bad is what men calls wrong and sin is what God
                    calls wrong.
            2. If you cannot see sin in your life, you can see it in the
                behavior of others.
                a. If you cannot see that you have done anything bad, you
                    should certainly see it in others.
                b. There are thieves, rapists, murderers, child stealers, those
                    who plunder, torture, maim and kill just for the joy of it.
            3. If you cannot accept that sin is in your life and in the world,
                death should prove it to you.
                a. Why is there death?
                b. If you do not believe in sin, you probably do not believe in
                    God.
                c. If you do not believe in God, you must believe in some kind of
                    evolution or natural selection.
                d. If there is such a thing as natural selection or evolution,
                    why has life not evolved to the place where it solves its
                    largest and most universal problem?
                e. Why have we not, in all of these billions of years, evolved
                    past death?
                    (1) If we evolved eyes so that we could see, why havenít we
                         evolved a backup heart?
                    (2) If we evolved a mouth so that we could eat and
                         communicate, why havenít we evolved arteries that do not
                         clog?
                    (3) If we evolved an opposable thumb so that we can hold the
                         remote control on Super Bowl Sunday, why havenít we
                         evolved a regenerative, rejuvenating body?
                f. The reason why is because death is not just a problem for
                    manís genes to solve, it is a judgment from God upon sin.

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment:

            4. Understand, when Jesus offered to forgive this manís sin, He was
                testifying to the reality of sin.

   II. These words mean that sin impacts our lives.
        A. When Jesus offered to forgive this manís sins, He was not just
            acknowledging that sin was real. He was stating that sin had
            impacted this manís life, causing his paralysis.
        B. LISTEN - The Bible does not teach that all sickness and evil in the
            world have a direct relationship to a specific act of sin.
            1. You do not necessarily tell a lie and catch a cold.
            2. You do not necessarily commit fornication and get a STD.
            3. You do not necessarily steal and get cancer.
            4. However, all sickness, disease, and suffering of any kind is a
                direct result of sin being introduced into this world by Adam
                and Eve.
                a. When the human race invited sin into this world, sin
                    dragged with it all its baggage of ills and suffering.
                b. Simply put, if sin had not entered the world, there would be
                    no sickness, death, sorrow, or suffering of any kind.
        C. However, I would go one step further.
            1. I would say that not only inherited sin impacts our lives, but
                specific sins do as well.
            2. That is not the moral of this miracle.  That is an observation I
                have made myself.
            3. I do not know that this man committed some specific sin which
                produced his disease.
                a. The Bible does not tell us that.
                b. Rather, I think Jesus is going to great links to point out
                    that every sickness is more than a case of simple sickness.
                c. It is proof to the reality of sin and the impact that it has
                    on our lives.
            4. However, every person who knows what sins is, also knows how they
                have been specifically hurt by sin in their lives.
                a. I donít say that sin is an intellect or a person, but it sure
                    seems like it doesnít it?
                b. Sin makes us lazy.
                    Sin makes us greedy.
                    Sin makes us indifferent.
                    Sin makes us cold and hard.
                    Sin makes us proud and arrogant.
        D. Could I ask you, what impact has sin had on your life?  The words of
            Jesus imply that sin is real and that it is impacting our lives.
            How has sin impacted your life?

  III. These words mean that sin can be forgiven.
        A. I mentioned earlier that wrong is done toward man, sin is done toward
            God.
            1. While some people may not be very forgiving of wrongs done to them,
                God is forgiving of sins committed toward Him.
            2. That seems to be news to a lot of people, even though God has
                always taught it.
                a. When Adam and Eve sinned, God demonstrated His willingness to
                    forgive by slaying the necessary animals for a sacrifice.
                b. When Cain slew Able, God demonstrated His willingness to
                    forgive by giving Cain an opportunity to confess even though
                    God already knew what Cain had done.
                c. When God determined to destroy the world with a flood, God
                    demonstrated His willingness to forgive by having Noah preach
                    to the people and His Spirit to strive with them for 120 years.
                d. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and they
                    repeatedly sinned against Him, God demonstrated His willingness
                    to forgive by tempering His justice with mercy.  He never
                    destroyed the whole nation although their sins warranted it
                    repeatedly.
                e. When God took Israel as His people, God demonstrated His
                    willingness to forgive by giving them the atoning sacrifices.
                f. When Israel kept turning to other nations and other gods, God
                    demonstrated His willingness to forgive by sending them
                    prophet after prophet for hundreds of years.
                g. When God had to eventually use Babylon to remove Israel from
                    their Promised Land, God demonstrated His willingness to
                    forgive by allowing them to return to the land after just
                    seventy years.
            3. Even today, God gets a bad rap as being a harsh God who damns
                souls to hell, but God has demonstrated His willingness to
                forgive by providing His own Son as the Sacrifice for sin and
                ensuring that message is preached around the globe.
        B. Please understand what the words of Jesus mean.
            1. Jesus is not only saying that sin is real and that it impacts our
                lives, but He is also saying that every time a sickness is healed,
                involves some measure of forgiveness on Godís part.
            2. The Bible tells us that the wages of our sins is death.
                a. The payment for a sin is immediate and eternal death.
                b. Why hasnít God executed that order?
                    Why hasnít God demanded that payment?
                    Why doesnít a cold kill us?
                    How is it that we endure surgeries, accidents, viruses,
                     injuries, traumas, and other problems?
                c. The reason is mercy.  God is showing us that He is willing to
                    forgive.
        C. I cannot tell you that coming to God will patch up every problem
            you have with others, but I can tell you that coming to Him will
            patch up every problem that you have with Him.
            1. You can stand before God today, clean and pure.
            2. Earlier in this message, I was mentioning proofs of sin.
                a. There is one that I wanted to mentioned but did not feel
                    would fit at that point.  I feel that it fits better here.
                b. One of the proofs of sin is the guilt that we feel over the
                    things that we have done.
                c. That thing called guilt should not exist within a person if
                    God did not put it there.
                    (1) If there is not absolute right and wrong, no sin.
                    (2) If there is no higher Authority.
                    (3) If there is no Designer.
                    (4) Then how in the world did that guilt get into us?
                d. The answer is, God put it there.
                    (1) It exists to show us there is a Higher Authority, a
                         Designer, a code of absolute right and wrong, and sin.
                    (2) Unfortunately, for most, instead of guilt turning us back
                         toward God, it simply unhinges us.
                e. People who do not belief in sin have to harden their
                    consciences just to live.
                    (1) The process of hardening your conscience is modern-day,
                         acceptable, psychological practice called
                         DESENSITIZATION.
                    (2) Paul prophesied as a last days occurrence.

1 Timothy 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a
hot iron;

                f. There is a better way.
                    (1) Instead of hardening your conscience or going insane,
                         take Godís forgiveness.
                    (2) Forgiveness removes the sin that causes the guilt that
                         creates the madness.

   IV. These words mean that Jesus is the One who forgives sins.
        A. This is truly the crux of the whole story.
            1. There were many people in Jesusí audience who knew that sin
                existed.
            2. There were many people in Jesusí audience who knew that sin
                impacted lives.
            3. There were many people in Jesusí audience who knew that sin
                could be forgiven.
            4. Not very many people in Jesusí audience knew that Jesus could do
                the forgiving.
        B. You can see the shock this statement of Jesus had on His audience.

Luke 5:21  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is
this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

            1. These people were not surprised that sin existed, that it impacted
                lives, or that it could be forgiven.
            2. They were surprised that Jesus claimed to be the One who could
                remove it.
            3. Might I say that Jesusí statement needed to be proved.
                a. I would not want to be the one who challenged Jesus; however,
                    for anyone wearing flesh to make this kind of statement,
                    it needed to be proved.
                b. Here, an apparent Man stands among men and claims to be able
                    to forgive a wrong done toward God.
                c. The people rightly judge, if sin is against God, only God can
                    forgive it.
                d. Therefore, Jesus is making Himself God and claiming to have
                    the power to forgive sin.
                e. A proof is not out of order at this point.
        C. And so Jesus does prove it.

Luke 5:23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise
up and walk?
24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive
sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up
thy couch, and go into thine house.
25  And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and
departed to his own house, glorifying God.

            1. Jesus was pointing out that the One who heals the body which is
                tainted by sin is the God who forgives the sin.
            2. Jesus demonstrated that He forgave this manís sins by healing
                this manís sickness.

On this day, Jesus did a most unusual act.  He not only healed a manís disease,
He forgave a manís sins.  And today, Jesus wants to do that for you. I have never
promised a person that if they get saved, all of their problems will go away,
because they donít.
    1. But I will promise that all of your sins will go away.
    2. And I will promise that are of your problems will get better.

The question is, "Will you let Jesus do an unusual thing for you?

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