What Jesus Did! 'The Help of Friends' — Luke 5:17-20

Saturday, March 11, 2023

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

Key Thought

Sometimes Jesus sees the faith of people who need to be healed and blesses them based upon their faith. [1] Sometimes faith is not mentioned and doesn't appear to be an issue in his healing ministry. [2] This time, however, Jesus sees the faith of the men lowering their paralyzed friend. Their love, concern, effort, and faith all cry out to Jesus for help, so Jesus helps the man. [3] This is a "get your hands dirty digging through the roof" kind of faith. It is a faith that takes great risks because of love. I wonder how many of our friends need us to get our hands dirty taking risks to help them meet Jesus.

[1] Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 8:43-48.
[2] John 5:1-9; Luke 4:40.
[3] Jesus both forgave the man and healed him (Luke 5:21-25).

Today's Prayer

Father, I'm thinking about several friends who need to let go of their calloused indifference or need to find answers to their questions and concerns so that they can come to you. Please bless me so that I can help them find their way home to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Mark 10:51-52
  • 1 Peter 3:15-16
  • John 3:16-17


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Illustration of Luke 5:17-20 NLT — "Young man, your sins are forgiven."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.