As we continue our reading in chapter five, we find ourselves reading about Jesus’ ministry to some people who were the outcasts of society. We first see Jesus encounter a leper, and although leprosy was a serious condition in that day, Jesus broke all norms and touched this leper and healed his disease. Luke records that the leprosy immediately left this man and he was now clean, which meant that his life would forever be changed.
We then read of Jesus’ encounter with a paralytic. As Jesus is teaching in a house, some men desperately bring their friend to Jesus. Unable to find room to get their friend close to Jesus, they enter through the roof and interrupt Jesus’ teaching. Jesus cares about this man and his condition and Jesus not only heals him, He offers forgiveness of sin. This declaration by Jesus is the equal to Jesus calling Himself God. This was a monumental moment in the life of His ministry because only God can forgive sins, and yet here is Jesus claiming to do exactly that.
The next encounter we read about is that of Jesus calling Levi, a tax collector who had quite the reputation. Jesus, though, is about changing lives, and He calls Levi to a new life of following Jesus. We see three different examples of Jesus touching those seemingly far from God. We see three examples of Jesus radically changing someone’s life. What you and I need to realize today is this – we are the leper; we are the paralytic; we are Levi. Without Jesus, we are broken, unclean, outcast, and hopeless. However, Jesus is in the business of writing a new story in our lives. If you have met Jesus, He has made you clean. If you have met Jesus, your sins have been forgiven. If you have met Jesus, you are called to follow and obey Him.
So where are you today? Have you followed Jesus? If so, are you rejoicing in the amazing grace he offers you today? And if you have followed Jesus, what are you willing to do so that others will meet Jesus? Will you carry your friends to Jesus? Will you live in such a way that points to Christ? Jesus wants to change lives – will He use you?