The Impact of My Faith

Text: Luke 5:20
When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’. (NRSV)

This is the continuation of yesterday’s text.  The friends of the paralyzed man have climbed up on the roof of the house where Jesus is, and dug through the tile roof to let the stretcher down in front of Jesus because they could not get to Jesus any other way.  Jesus then says these incredible words, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

I don’t find it surprising that Jesus forgives sin.  After all, I am an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.  My seminary education and my personal study of Scripture has led me to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus forgives sin.  What I find incredible is that the reason Luke gives us is that Jesus “saw their faith.”

Now, the “their” in this sentence could be referring not only to the friends of the man but to the man himself.  But I have often wondered about that when I read this text.  Is Jesus referring to all involved, or is he referring only to the friends who brought a man who could not bring himself before Jesus.  In other places, Jesus says “your” faith has healed you or “your” faith has made you whole.  But here, Luke says “Their”.  I think Luke is referring to the faith of the men who brought their friend to Jesus.

If this is true, it makes me wonder how my faith impacts the lives of others.  When I live my faith out in community, are lives changed by Jesus that would not have been changed otherwise?  When I “bring” someone else into the presence of Jesus, does my faith impact what happens to the one I have “brought”?  What do my actions say about the faith I have that Jesus will heal and forgive others?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of forgiveness remind me to live my life out in a way that always brings glory to you.  May the faith I have be evident in the things I do so that my faith may impact the lives of others who are struggling to know your love and forgiveness.  AMEN.

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