Daily Archives: August 5, 2018

August 5: Patterns and Prophecies

Isaiah 9:1–10:19; Luke 3:1–38; Job 3:1–16

Luke sees the events surrounding Jesus’ life through the lens of Isaiah. For Luke, Jesus’ life is Isaiah’s prophecy made tangible and complete. Jesus is the anticipated Messiah, prophet, and savior. Even John the Baptist’s role in Jesus’ life is based on Isaiah’s prophesy. Luke repeats the metaphor of “the wilderness” from Isaiah—used by the prophet to describe the time when the Israelites would come out from their captivity in Babylon—to cast John the Baptist as a central figure in God’s work.

The wilderness metaphor doesn’t originate with Isaiah. He uses it to represent the second time God’s people entered the land He promised them (the term originally comes from the time when the Israelites roamed the wilderness after the exodus). Luke quotes Isaiah in casting John the Baptist as “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight! Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled, and the crooked will become straight, and the rough road will become smooth, and all flesh will see the salvation of God’ ” (Luke 3:4–6; quoting Isa 40:3–5). For Luke, the smoothing of the rough road represents a change in the spiritual landscape, and the flesh that sees the salvation of God means the message is not just for the Jewish people but for all people—including Luke himself.

Luke builds upon this connection by identifying Jesus as the child that is prophesied in Isaiah (Luke 1:26–28):

“For a child has been born for us; a son has been given to us. And the dominion will be on his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His dominion will grow continually, and to peace there will be no end on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this” (Isa 9:6–7).

Luke is adept at the art of connecting the Testaments. He tells us directly that he’s quoting Isaiah, and in doing so, he illustrates that God works by building current events on the foundation of past events. Those events form the basis of prophecy—God’s way of telling us both what He has done and what He will do in times to come.

Although the way God works is too great for us to comprehend, He allows us to see patterns in His work; we just need to look for them and believe they are there. If we focus on God’s works and the echoes and harmonies between them, our perspective on the events of our lives changes dramatically. We glimpse the reality that God is not only at work in today’s matters, but He is also using them to prepare and signify the events that are to come. The patterns are as important as the events, as God uses both to reveal Himself to us.

What patterns are you noticing in your life? How do you think God is working and will continue to work through you?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

August 5 Languages Without Love

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1).

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Love distinguishes true communication from useless chatter and meaningless noises.

Paul begins his discourse on love by stating the futility of languages without love. The Corinthians were enamored with the showy spiritual gifts, apparently to the neglect of those they deemed less spectacular (see 1 Cor. 12:12–31). One of the gifts they prized most highly was tongues, which was the Spirit-given ability to declare God’s truth in a language unknown to the speaker but known to others who heard.

Tongues were a sign to provoke unbelieving Jewish people to consider the gospel (1 Cor. 14:21–22). Its first occurrence was on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit enabled those assembled in the upper room to proclaim the mighty deeds of God in the native languages of the Jews gathered in Jerusalem at the time (Acts 2:4–11).

The “tongues of angels” Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:1 isn’t the gift of tongues, as some suppose. He was simply using an exaggeration to emphasize his point, saying in effect, “If I had the ability to communicate with angels, it wouldn’t do any good without love.”

In Paul’s day, the worship of Cybele and Dionysus, two pagan gods, included speaking in ecstatic languages accompanied by blaring trumpets, smashing gongs, and clanging cymbals. I believe Paul was drawing from that well-known practice to say that whenever Christians attempt to minister apart from the Spirit and His love, it’s no different than a pagan rite. It may look and sound like the real thing, but it’s meaningless and useless for any spiritual benefit.

You should take advantage of every opportunity to minister your spiritual gifts to others. But as you do, be sure it’s with love, in the energy of the Spirit, and in accordance with God’s Word. Then you’ll have maximum impact as Christ uses your efforts for His glory.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to convict you whenever you attempt to exercise your spiritual gifts without love.

For Further Study: Read Romans 12:1–21. ✧ What does Paul say about spiritual gifts? ✧ How are Christians to express brotherly love to one another?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 230). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Google Makes Merkel Its ‘Leader of the Free World’ — The Gateway Pundit

Google, the world’s leading search engine, has pushed a false fact — that Frau Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, is now the “Leader of the Free World” a position or title typically accorded to the US President, at least since the end of WWII.

Is she?

Frau Merkel, the longest serving leader in Europe, and her CDU/CSU party was narrowly reelected with only 33% of the vote and 218 seats, in a turgid campaign, to an unprecedented fourth term. But the election was truly a setback for her party, which needed a coalition with the Socialists to form a grand coalition to form a weak government.

Her growing opposition, given her self-created immigration debacle, is the ascendant populist Alternative for Democracy (AfD) who won13% of the vote (87 seats) and came in third. This is hardly the stability of the past, let alone leader of all of Germany — let alone the wider world.

Truthfully, what we are witnessing in Germany is perhaps more akin to a Fourth Reich, which Germany could not win, in the last war by other means.

Indeed, there is sufficient reason to believe that Merkel’s overly dominant Germany is the real reason for the demise of the critical and long-lasting transatlantic alliance and the fallout over the UK Brexit.

This is not leadership but sabotage.

The German Strafgesetzbuch (or Criminal Code) in § 86a outlaws the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations.” This concerns Nazi symbolism in particular and is part of the denazification efforts following the fall of the Third Reich.

The law specifically prohibits the distribution or public use of symbols of unconstitutional groups-–in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting (salutes). While such memorabilia is verboten in modern Germany, right below the surface you find all of the sentiment, authoritarianism and haughtiness of its’ ugly past.

And who is to blame? Google’s self-nominated leader of the free world.

German culture is an odd combination of pride and penance. Germans cannot resolve their deep inner conflict, which is submerged and crosses generational lines, even if they do not or cannot mention Mein Kampf or the Hitler name.

Germany may appear uncomfortable in its own skin, as well it should. The tormented minds — adrift between schmerz and angst — exhibit a high degree of what psychoanalysts used to refer to as ‘repression;’ Except that it is not all that repressed any longer.

Today Merkel’s strident Germany is the decidedly dominant reunited bullying European power—in every sense of the term. It can’t help itself. But a world leader it is not.

The Iron Chancellor (who is referred to as Mutti in German or Mom) is trying to push all of Europe around. You see Germany is no longer a defeated, reluctant, insignificant power. Instead, it lurks mightily now as it strove to do in 1939. Its invasion over these past few years just takes other forms. But do not be misled it is all the same — an invasion.

Ironically, Germany is also the biggest NATO laggard at 1.2 percent of GDP, even though it has the most robust economy on the continent and a huge current account surplus of over $285 billion, the largest in the world. In effect, American taxpayers, by paying so much (70 percent of the current NATO budget) are subsidizing European, and particularly the German welfare state. Such free riding can’t continue and we need to read them, as President repeatedly has, the riot act and not just about cheating on Volkswagen emissions.

Germany nunc has realistically become the dangerous Ubermencsh that Wagner proclaimed. This is what `Google calls leadership? History called it something else.

It is most noteworthy how stubborn Mrs. Merkel adroitly played her anti-American card throughout her tedious campaign. She said: ”Europe must stay united because it cannot fully count on the US.” Her former Socialist, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel (a Putin crony), said in no uncertain terms that Trump is,“a threat to peace and prosperity.”

Germany wants to be on a collision course with Trump’s United States—politically, socially and economically, even if it is a weakling militarily. It is also clear that it is totally dependent on Russian energy. In fact, Germany’s former Socialist Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, is the very chairman of Russia’s Gazprom. Trump exposed this risky business at the last NATO meeting.

While notable German magazines (Der Spiegel and Die Stern) despicably portray a severed Trump head on their covers—Germany marches to its own and dangerous drumbeat trying to drag the entire EU along. Merkel calls the shots and has said she wants an integrated, unified and federal EU with Germany at the helm and always benefitting from the euro currency play. In all honesty, that’s what the euro is — a German ploy for its own export led growth. Trump exposed that as well.

Did you know that Merkel was in fact born Angela Kazmierczak and is part Polish? Her grandfather was a Ludwig Kazmierczak, born 1896 in Poznan – then part of the German Reich. The family was proud of its Polish roots. After WWII however they changed their name and moved. She ended up residing in the DDR—the Soviet part of (East) Germany, where she was raised speaking Russian, as a pacifist Lutheran pastor’s daughter.

Merkel’s values are therefore very divided—as was Germany itself. She embodies in ways the dark soul of Germany’s anguished history. But underneath the boring demeanor is a will to power—a German ambition to reign supreme over all of Europe.

Maybe Google should have listed her for what she truly is—a European tyrant.

Gone are the common Atlantic values of the past. Peace, security and economic growth are sacrificed for raw German ambition camouflaged in European clothing.

Germany is in effect becoming a defacto bully. What it could not win militaristically in the last war it is nonetheless achieving in a not so secret attempt to takeover Europe and all its institutions, money, and culture, using the façade of the EU as its Trojan horse.

Decades ago a cabinet minister to Margaret Thatcher named, Nicholas Ridley, was forced to resign after has said the EU was “a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe.” He went on to lament that giving up sovereignty to that body was as bad as giving it up to Hitler. Back then such language caused shock—today it is as obvious as Wiener schnitzel und apfel strudel.

In turns out the British television series SS-GB may not be so fictitious after all. In that plot it is November 1941, nine months after a successful German invasion of Britain. Winston Churchill has been executed. King George is a prisoner and has not been seen in public for some time. His wife and his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret escaped, while the Duke of Windsor, who had earlier abdicated as Edward VIII, is in exile. A British government in exile exists but is not recognised. Swastikas furl in the wind all over London—the Germans run things.

Fast-forward in time to non-fiction, today Merkel is now the leader of the world? Really? Which world? She can barely run Germany. . Before it is too late the US and UK, Europe too, has to step up and call Germany what it is. Merkel is a threat to freedom not its leader.

The transatlantic alliance in this century demands honesty and burden sharing as well as common principles and purpose. If Germany is not on board it can go it alone, realizing the US will no longer pay for it, defend it, protect it, or watch idly as it transforms the continent into a German panzer-like machine and puppet state to which it dictates orders.

European nations of freedom should come to their own conclusions but America cannot appease or deny reality any longer. We have a leader and he has taken on the challenge even if the likes of techno-giant, Leftist Google deny it.

Google needs to fix its algorithms lest we all see what they are—just another form of anti-Trumpism.

via Google Makes Merkel Its ‘Leader of the Free World’ — The Gateway Pundit

BOOM! Rep. Darrell Issa: If Twitter, Facebook Are Going to Politic Through Algorithm – They May Start Getting Regulated by FEC (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was on with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures this morning.

What an explosive interview!

First Darrell Issa told Maria Bartiromo that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Barack Obama were intimately involved in the Trump Spygate scandal. Issa said Obama was hoping to use the information after the election to punish the Trump campaign and Trump supporters. “They got a special prosecutor under false pretenses.”

During their discussion Rep. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, also said Congress was calling for an investigation of Twitter and other social media.

THIS IS A HUGE DEVELOPMENT!

Issa said it was time to start regulating Twitter and Facebook for their algorithms that censor and shadow ban conservative users and content.

Rep. Darrell Issa: One of the challenges is these entities have special benefits, if you will, of being immune from, if you will the rest of the responsibility the rest of the media has. That can be taken away. In the case of Twitter and these others, to be honest, if they’re going to politic through algorithm they could well come under the Federal Election Commission. They could be considered to in fact be making an in-kind donation. They could have to register what those dollars are.

For right now what we want to do is we want to get them to admit the truth which is it doesen’t seem logical that when they come up with a new algorithm it only seems to affect Republican conservatives such as Jim Jordan and the like. It is the reason that both the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight Committee are trying to schedule on the first day back a hearing with Twitter to give them an opportunity to explain how this anomaly that only seems to affect conservatives.

This is great news for conservatives and the country!

Via Sunday Morning Futures:

THIS IS A HUGE DEVELOPMENT!

It’s been widely reported by this website that Facebook has eliminated the traffic to top conservative websites in the United States.

A Gateway Pundit June study of top conservative news outlets found that Facebook has eliminated 93% of traffic to top conservative websites.

Facebook began eliminating conservative content after the 2016 election.

Here are the full results from our study.

We have another study on Facebook censorship coming out in the coming weeks.

Report: Facebook Eliminates 93% of Traffic to Top Conservative Websites by Jim Hoft on Scribd

via BOOM! Rep. Darrell Issa: If Twitter, Facebook Are Going to Politic Through Algorithm – They May Start Getting Regulated by FEC (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

The New York Times’ Major Story On Bill Hybels and Pat Baranowski, the Woman he ‘Groomed’ and ‘Groped’ for Years

Pat Baranowski (The New York Times)

After the pain of watching her marriage fall apart, Pat Baranowski felt that God was suddenly showering her with blessings.

She had a new job at her Chicago-area megachurch, led by a dynamic young pastor named the Rev. Bill Hybels, who in the 1980s was becoming one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country.

The pay at Willow Creek Community Church was much lower than at her old job, but Ms. Baranowski, then 32, admired Mr. Hybels and the church’s mission so much that it seemed worth it. She felt even more blessed when in 1985 Mr. Hybels and his wife invited her to move into their home, where she shared family dinners and vacations.

Once, while Mr. Hybels’s wife, Lynne, and their children were away, the pastor took Ms. Baranowski out for dinner. When they got home, Mr. Hybels offered her a back rub in front of the fireplace and told her to lie face down.

Stunned, she remembered feeling unable to say no to her boss and pastor as he straddled her, unhooked her bra and touched her near her breasts. She remembered feeling his hands shake.

That first back rub in 1986 led to multiple occasions over nearly two years in which he fondled her breasts and rubbed against her. The incidents later escalated to one occasion of oral sex. Ms. Baranowski said she was mortified and determined to stay silent.

“I really did not want to hurt the church,” said Ms. Baranowski, who is now 65, speaking publicly for the first time. “I felt like if this was exposed, this fantastic place would blow up, and I loved the church. I loved the people there. I loved the family. I didn’t want to hurt anybody. And I was ashamed.”

Mr. Hybels denied her allegations about her time working and living with him. “I never had an inappropriate physical or emotional relationship with her before that time, during that time or after that time,” he said in an email.

Since the #MeToo movement emerged last year, evangelical churches have been grappling with allegations of sexual abuse by their pastors. A wave of accusations has begun to hit evangelical institutions, bringing down figures like the Rev. Andy Savage, at Highpoint Church in Memphis, and the Rev. Harry L. Thomas, the founder of the Creation Festival, a Christian music event.

Ms. Baranowski is not the first to accuse Mr. Hybels of wrongdoing, though her charges are more serious than what has been reported before.

In March, The Chicago Tribune and Christianity Today reported that Mr. Hybels had been accused by several other women, including co-workers and a congregant, of inappropriate behavior that dated back decades. The allegations included lingering hugs, invitations to hotel rooms, comments about looks and an unwanted kiss.

The accusations did not immediately result in consequences for Mr. Hybels. At a churchwide meeting where Mr. Hybels denied the allegations, he received a standing ovation from the congregation.

The church’s elders conducted their own investigation of the allegations when they first surfaced four years ago and commissioned a second inquiry by an outside lawyer, completed in 2017. Both investigations cleared Mr. Hybels, though the church’s two lead pastors have since issued public apologies, saying that they believe the women.

In April, Mr. Hybels announced to the congregation he would accelerate his planned retirement by six months and step aside immediately for the good of the church. He continued to deny the allegations, but acknowledged, “I too often placed myself in situations that would have been far wiser to avoid.” The congregation let out a disappointed groan. Some shouted “No!”

In many evangelical churches, the pastor is the superstar on which everything else rests, making accusations of harassment particularly difficult to confront. A pastor such as Mr. Hybels is a conduit to Christ, with sermons so mesmerizing that congregants rush to buy tapes of them after services.

In the evangelical world, Mr. Hybels is considered a giant, revered as a leadership guru who discovered the formula for bringing to church people who were skeptical of Christianity. His books and speeches have crossed over into the business world.

Mr. Hybels built a church independent of any denomination. In such churches, there is no larger hierarchy to set policies and keep the pastor accountable. Boards of elders are usually volunteers recommended, and often approved, by the pastor.

But the most significant reason sexual harassment can go unchecked is that victims do not want to hurt the mission of their churches.

“So many victims within the evangelical world stay silent because they feel, if they step forward, they’ll damage this man’s ministry, and God won’t be able to accomplish the things he’s doing through this man,” said Boz Tchividjian, a former sex crimes prosecutor who leads GRACE, an organization that works with victims of abuse in Christian institutions.

“Those leaders feel almost invincible,” said Mr. Tchividjian, a grandson of Billy Graham who has consulted with some former staff members accusing Mr. Hybels of wrongdoing. “They don’t feel like the rules apply to them, because they’re doing great things for Jesus, even though their behavior doesn’t reflect Jesus at all.”

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Laurie Goodstein
The New York Times

Source: The New York Times’ Major Story On Bill Hybels and Pat Baranowski, the Woman he ‘Groomed’ and ‘Groped’ for Years

The FBI Conspired with the DNC and Hillary Against Trump

Article Image

The FBI Conspired with the DNC and Hillary Against Trump

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Politics is dirty business, notably in money-controlled America, especially when media scoundrels operate as press agents for one presidential candidate over the other.

The DNC and Hillary campaign hired former MI6 spy Christopher Steele to produce his dodgy dossier on Trump – filled with spurious accusations and allegations, including phony accusations of Russian US election interference.

No Russiagate investigation was warranted. No special counsel should have been appointed. What continues endlessly is more evidence of Washington’s hugely corrupted swamp.

Former FBI director James Comey whitewashed Hillary’s criminality, failing to hold her accountable – serious wrongdoing enough to send ordinary people to prison with stiff sentences.

Ordinary Americans are held to one standard, privileged ones another, justice whatever powerful figures want it to be. Rule of law principles don’t matter.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz found evidence of FBI “willingness” to damage Trump’s presidential campaign when James Comey served as director.

In response to the IG report, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said it “destroyed the credibility of the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

On Friday, the agency released heavily redacted documents in response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit – revealing it paid Steele as a “confidential human source (CHS), along with funding provided by the DNC and Hillary’s campaign, saying:

“CHS confirmed to an outside third party that CHS has a confidential relationship with the FBI. CHS was used as a source for an online article.”

It “revealed (its) relationship with the FBI as well as information (it) obtained and provided to FBI. On November 1, 2016, CHS confirmed all of this to the handling agent.”

“At that time, handling agent advised CHS that the nature of the relationship between the FBI and CHS would change completely, and that it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with the CHS.”

“Additionally, handling agent advised that CHS was not to operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI.”

On Friday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “(t)he anti-Trump Russia ‘investigation’ had Christopher Steele at its center, and his misconduct was no impediment to using information from his Russia intelligence collaborators to spy on the Trump team. The corruption and abuse is astonishing.”

Last January, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ memo revealed explosive Russiagate abuses, a scheme to delegitimize Trump’s electoral triumph and bash the Kremlin.

It named former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, along with former FBI Director James Comey as culpable parties to the scheme.

The FBI primarily used Steele’s dodgy dossier to collude with the DNC and Hillary’s campaign against Trump.

Russiagate should be called Hillarygate, FBIgate and DOJgate.

It should be terminated straightaway, culpable high-level parties held fully accountable for their criminal activity.

Source: The FBI Conspired with the DNC and Hillary Against Trump

AUGUST 5 GIVING CHRIST HIS PLACE

That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:11

Christianity at large and the Church, generally speaking, are afflicted with a dread, lingering illness that shows itself daily in the apathy and spiritual paralysis of its members.

How can it be otherwise when twentieth-century Christians refuse to acknowledge the sharp moral antithesis that God Himself has set between the Church, as the Body of Christ, and this present world with its own human systems?

The differences between the churchly world and the followers of the Lamb are so basic that they can never be reconciled or negotiated. God has never promised His believing people that they would become a popular majority in this earthly scene.

I wonder how many believers would join me in a clear-cut manifesto to our times? I want it to be a declaration of our intentions to restore Christ to the place that is rightfully His in our personal lives, in our family situations and in the fellowship of the churches that bear His name.

Are we willing to demonstrate the standards of godliness and biblical holiness as a rebuke to this wicked and perverse generation?

Lord, though the Church and the world often collide, I pray that each member of the Body of Christ will be so full of integrity that many unsaved people in the world will be pointed to Jesus Christ.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

August 5, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

86:2 I am a godly man. David, though recognizing his sinfulness (v. 1), insisted that by the grace of God he had not broken his covenant with the Lord.[1]


86:2 I am faithful The word chasid used here describes those who are pious and faithful to God. It is related to the word chesed (see Ps 132:9 and note).

your servant The psalmist identifies himself as Yahweh’s servant (eved, in Hebrew; see vv. 3, 4, 16), possibly indicating a special relationship with Yahweh beyond general submission (compare Deut 34:5; Josh 24:29).

my God Although the psalmist uses several terms for God, he only uses the Hebrew term elohay here and in Psa 86:12. The statement attah elohim levaddekha (“you alone are God”) in v. 10 may convey the same idea. See 84:3 and note.[2]


86:2 who trusts in you. The psalmist recognizes his own inability, but he knows where true strength lies.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 86:2). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 86:2). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 812). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 5 Undaunted Faith

Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city. And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”—Matt. 9:1–2

Christianity’s most distinctive message is the truth that God can forgive sin. The essence of the gospel is that Christ’s atoning death can free people from the penalty of sin. If Jesus can heal diseases and disabilities, He can surely provide cleansing for the consequences of sin. The men who brought the paralytic to the Lord undoubtedly believed this very strongly.

Those with crippling disabilities have always had to endure social stigma and neglect. But in the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day and much earlier, the stigma was especially pronounced because everyone believed chronic ailments stemmed directly from someone’s sin. Bildad told Job, “If your sons sinned against Him, then He delivered them into the power of their transgression” (Job 8:4; cf. 4:7; John 9:1–2).

The paralytic here likely had the same understanding concerning sin and disease, thus he was determined at any cost to see Jesus for forgiveness and a resultant physical healing. Christ saw the determination of his faith as his friends worked through the crowd to get the paralytic in front of Him. That aggressive approach revealed their hearts of faith. In all his physical ugliness and spiritual neediness, the man threw himself upon Jesus’ mercy.

The paralyzed man came to the Lord in true humility and poverty of spirit, which God requires of all seeking hearts (Matt. 5:3). Jesus sometimes healed people of little faith, but He was especially willing to heal those of great faith, as with the men and his friends.

ASK YOURSELF

Why does God choose to work through our faith? Why would He want to include our cooperation as part of His healing activity? What might He be requiring of you as He deals with a certain need in your life?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 226). Chicago: Moody Publishers.