Extraordinary Things

On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.  And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’  When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, ‘Why do you question in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Rise and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the man who was paralyzed—‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.  And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today.’ After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.” Luke 5:17-27

Extraordinary things: that experts in the law, implanted with holy desire, would gather to listen to Jesus. That men, compelled by an urgent love, would take their limp, paralyzed friend up on a roof to let him down in front of Jesus. That Jesus, filled with compassion and life-giving power, would forgive and make the paralyzed walk. That amazement and awe, gifts from regenerated souls, would be given our worthy God. That a shrewd rich man, supernaturally moved by Jesus’s call, would give up everything to follow Him.

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…That any, inspired by the Holy Spirit, seek and live for Jesus. The desire to spend time with Jesus in prayer and His word, to stop the complaining thought and rest content, to choose to bless and encourage rather than criticize, to prefer another over myself, to say no to what is not healthy for the better choice, to be patient and kind and generous, to  do menial work happily and not think less of those who do not, to have resistance softened to glad acceptance of different ideas and willingness for new duties, to be willing to bear the cross for another’s sake, to be thankful–all these are extraordinary things God does in and through us when we are surrendered to Him. Should I not invite His filling and control?

Lord on high, may I never cease to marvel at Your extraordinary things, and yield myself to those You want to perform in me. Keep me amazed and glorifying You.

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