What Jesus Did! 'The Greater Need' — Luke 5:21-26

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Jewish teachers of the law and the Pharisees thought to themselves, "Who is this man (Jesus)? He is saying things that are against God! Only God can forgive sins." But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, "Why do you have these questions in your minds? The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, 'Your sins are forgiven.' {No one could see if it really happened.} But what if I say to the man, 'Stand up and walk'? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power." So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!" Then the man stood up before the people there. He picked up his mat and walked home, praising God. All the people were fully amazed. They began to praise God. The people were filled with much respect {for God's power}. They said, "Today we saw amazing things!"
— Luke 5:21-26 NLT
Illustration of Luke 5:21-26 NLT — "Today we saw amazing things!"

Key Thought

Having just received a call about a friend who is terminally ill, this passage is a powerful reminder. So often my perspective has me focus on the physical needs. That is not bad. It moves me to act with compassion. It brings me to my knees in prayer. However, Jesus reminds me in this passage that forgiveness of sin is the greatest need we all have as humans. Forgiveness is the greatest gift Jesus can give us. Spiritual healing, the one that brings deliverance from sin and its guilt, is what we most need. As we look at the people around us, let's not forget what the greatest need in their lives truly is!

Today's Prayer

Eternal and gracious God, my Abba Father, forgive me when I get so distracted by lesser things. Stir me to act with compassion and genuine care toward those with physical needs. Help me also to act passionately with compassion and genuine care toward those around me with the greatest need—the need for your grace and forgiveness. Please give me true spiritual vision to see what needs to be done in the lives of those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 32:1-4
  • 1 Timothy 1:15-17
  • Romans 4:24-25


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

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.