Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17 - Luke 5

Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 5. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The chapter opens with Jesus speaking to crowds of people along Lake Gennesaret. After he finishes speaking, he encourages Simon the fisherman to put his nets out into deep water to catch fish.  Simon responds somewhat reluctantly, because they had been fishing all day but had caught nothing. Though Jesus' instruction defies common sense, Simon follows it. This results in the nets overflowing with fish and convinces Simon to leave his vocation to follow Jesus.
  • As Jesus continues his journey with the new disciples, we see him healing people along the way. These miracles cause news to spread about him, and he found it difficult to be alone. 
  • One of the most interesting healings in Luke is that of a young paralyzed man.  The story in verses 17-26 show that it was his friends' determination and their faith that moved Jesus to forgive and heal the helpless man. 
  • In verse 27 we meet a tax collector, Levi. Tax collectors were known for being greedy and stealing money. But Jesus reached out and asked Levi to follow him.
  • At the end of the chapter, Jesus teaches a parable (a story with a spiritual truth) about wine skins.  Jesus was attempting to explain that he was starting something new that could not be contained by the old way of doing things. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • If we look at the cast of characters that Jesus was hanging out with, we will mostly see people that nobody cared about (blue collar workers, government officials, sick people). But Jesus is making it clear that he came for everyone, not just the religious or the elite.
  • The story of the paralyzed young man is a great reminder that often an individual comes to Christ because of the persistence and encouragement of friends and family. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you believe God is for you? Do you think you're too ordinary for God's love? Do you think you've screwed up to many times? Luke 5 reminds us that God is for the rest of us -- the imperfect, the screw-ups, the losers. If you have a hard time accepting that truth, talk to God about it today.
  • Do you have friends that need Jesus? Are you persistent in sharing God's love with them? Do you encourage them to come to church with you?  Commit to doing whatever it takes to get your friends to Jesus. Inviting them to Verve is a great place to start.