One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat, and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.”
In the book, Redemption, by Karen Kingsbury, Kari Baxter Jacobs has a husband who is not only cheating on her but actually moves in with his girlfriend. Kari refuses to give him a divorce because she has faith that God can save their relationship. That is faith way larger than a mustard seed. Joyce Meyer had this kind of faith to restore her relationship with her father who repeatedly raped her.
We don’t know who these four men were that hiked the paralyzed man and his mat onto the roof. The roofs at that time were probably seven-foot max with flat roofs made of mud, thatch, and ceiling tiles. There are three scenarios concerning the four men. They were either family, friends, strangers, or enemies. God doesn’t tell us who they are because we should be willing to do the same for anyone.
Most commentaries I’ve read talk about this incident as unstoppable, persistent faith, but wouldn’t we hike our grown child onto the roof to be healed if we only had the faith of a mustard seed? Jesus tells us in the next chapter of Luke we should love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything in return. (See Luke 6:35) God helps the unlovely, shouldn’t we, whether or not religious leaders are sitting in front of us?
Father God, help us remember that love is an action verb. Help us to go out of our way to help strangers. Help us to think of ways we can help the unlovely, our enemies, without risking our lives, to show we can love like you do.
3 thoughts on “Bible Study Devotional – Day 148 – Commentary Luke 5:17-20 – Should we help strangers and enemies?”
The other night I was driving home in total darkness with Victoria and Trey in the car with me. My car started making the most horrible noises and started shaking. My tire blew out. If it had happened 5 minutes further down the road the end results would have been so much different. I felt like God was definitely watching out for our safety. The best part of the story was the very kind young man that stopped to help us. He had his wife and young children in the car and I am sure on his way home to put them to bed. Instead he stopped to help me. I told him I thought that God had put him in my path to help us. He talked about his faith and church and was such a kind person. He was the perfect example of helping a stranger. I know the only thing I can do is pay it forward and try to help someone the way he helped me. I know that Jesus wants us to be kind, love and help our enemies too. That, of course, is a much harder thing to do. I feel like it is so hard because it is our natural instinct to protect ourselves from emotional or physical damage. The enemy in this day and age could be very dangerous. I really don’t know how to get by all of that and do what Jesus asks us to do. I can only think of one enemy that I have and I would not want to give him another chance to hurt me.
I am sure God was watching out for you, Victoria, and Trey. I hope you always remember that, when asked, He will always take care of your needs. God does not want you to endanger yourself. Don’t forget that when we pray for our enemies, we heap burning coals on their heads.(Romans 12:20) Perhaps when you talk to someone on the phone who is not treating you right, you can hang up and pray for them. You are fortunate to have only one human enemy. Always count your blessings, you have many!
I am sure God was watching out for you, Victoria, and Trey. When asked, He will always take care of your needs. God does not want you to endanger or hurt yourself. Don’t forget when we pray for our enemies, we heap coals of fire on their heads.(Romans 12:20)You are fortunate to have only one human enemy. Count your blessings, you have many!