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Healings and the Pharisees

I wonder how Jesus decided who to call as His disciple (Apostles).

I mean, so far He has chosen two fishermen and a tax collector.  All three men were working when Jesus chose them. Each left their profession to follow Jesus.  This doesn’t mean that we have to leave our profession when we decide to follow Jesus, but He also might call us to do so.  Being a worker proves we have the commitment to do something.

I’m pretty sure Simon, James, and Levi didn’t have clue about what they were about to encounter when they decided to follow Jesus, but they soon found out that Jesus brought the good news to people.

Not only did Jesus bring the good news, He brought healing to the people – often confusing the Pharisees.

Nevertheless, the healings were real.

Real enough that a leper didn’t ask to be healed.  He wanted to be clean.

Being unclean meant that he wasn’t able to interact with people.  He had to keep his distance and call out everywhere he went that he was unclean.  Imagine the shame.  Being clean would give him his life back. He could visit his friends again.  Being cleaned meant that there would not be sores. There would be scars but he would be clean.

Except Jesus did more than make him clean.  He took away the disease – healing all his body.

“Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”  And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:13, ESV)

Clean and Healed.

This caused the great crowds to gather to hear Him preach the word of God.

Luke tells of another instance of Jesus healing in a way no one expected Him to.

A crowd – including Pharisees and teachers of the law, was gathered to hear Him teach. But some didn’t want to just hear teaching, they knew Jesus could heal them.  Friends told friends; family told family; some were even so desperate they dropped their paralyzed friend in front of Jesus through the ceiling (Luke 5:17-19).

Knowing the faith of the friends, Jesus tells the man his sins are forgiven (who knows, maybe it was a sin that caused him to be paralyzed).

That sent the scribes and Pharisees screaming.  “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21)

Jesus wasn’t afraid to tell them like it is – What’s easier? The forgiveness of sins or telling him to get up and walk.

As we all know, forgiving someone is Hard.  Forgiving our self is even Harder.  But Jesus Forgives Us.  He died so we could be forgiven. Yet He still says, Rise, Get Up and Walk.  Jesus even tells us that He didn’t come to all the righteous but sinners to repentance.

Jesus is having this discussion with the Pharisees and their scribes because all they could do is grumble. And of course, when people get together, the discussion always seems to be about food.

In this case, the absence of food.

The grumblers wanted to know how come Jesus’ disciples didn’t have to fast but John’s did?

In a way only Jesus could do, He turns the question back onto them.

Do the wedding guests not eat when there’s a party and the bridegroom is leading it?

Will an old piece of fabric tear if you sew a new piece of fabric on it?

And my favorite . . . can you put new wine into old wineskins?

Putting new wine into old wineskins will cause an explosion . . . new wine must go into new wineskins . . . old wine goes into old wineskins.  Besides, old wine is good. {I knew Jesus was for us ‘older’ ones!}

So, who are the Apostles? Find out tomorrow.



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