The Presence, the Command, the Promise & the Miracle

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses twelve through thirty-nine of the fifth chapter. “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a many full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:12-16). “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctrine of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own, house glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:17-26). “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levite made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32). “And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new win must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better” (Luke 5:33-37). When you come to the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative of Luke you will find something truly astonishing in the opening verse of the passage—something which would be seen throughout out this entire chapter. If you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of this chapter you will find Luke writing how it came to pass that the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God. Pause for a moment before going any further in this particular chapter and consider the weight and magnitude of what is found here. I am absolutely and completely convinced there is a great need to recognize how truly captivating and alluring the opening verse of this passage truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth concerning the hunger and desire that was present within the hearts and souls of men and women during those days. I absolutely love what we find in this passage of Scripture and how Luke writes how the people who were present there pressed about the Lord Jesus that they might hear the word of God. That which we find here in the opening verse of this passage of Scripture is a genuine and authentic desire that was present within those days to hear the word of God. What makes this all the more challenging when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how these words and this reality relates to your own life. If you were truly honest with yourself can and would you admit to the fact that you have within your heart and soul a genuine and authentic desire to hear the word of God? Is there truly a desperate and genuine longing and desire within your heart to hear the word of God spoken unto and within you—within your heart and within your soul? During the days of the Lord Jesus there would indeed be those who would desire to hear the word of God as it would proceed from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I sit here today thinking about the words which are found here and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which began being written by Luke concerning the Lord Jesus in the fourth chapter. If you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of the fourth chapter you will find Luke writing how Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost and how He returned from the Jordan River where He had been baptized by John the Baptist. We know that it was there at the Jordan River where the heavens were opened unto and before the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that not only were the heavens opened before and unto the Lord Jesus but we also find the voice of the Father invading and interrupting that moment with Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River by emphatically declaring of Jesus that He was His beloved Son. This is something we have a great need to recognize and pay close attention for in addition to the heavens being opened unto the Lord Jesus and in addition to the voice of the Father speaking unto Jesus declaring that He was His beloved Son we also find the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the bodily form of a dove. There at the Jordan River the Holy Ghost would descend upon the Lord Jesus in the bodily form of a dove and it would be this descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord Jesus Christ that would set the tone and the stage for what we find in the fourth chapter. It would be in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew that we find the Lord Jesus coming unto John the Baptist at the Jordan River desiring to be baptized of him there in the midst. Initially John the Baptist would declare unto Jesus that he had need of being baptized by Him and yet Jesus would declare that it needed to be so to fulfill all righteousness. Eventually John would indeed welcome Jesus into the waters of the Jordan River and would baptize Him in the waters before something truly supernatural would take place. It would be as the Lord Jesus emerged from the Jordan River the heavens were opened to Him, the voice of the Father would declare that He was His beloved Son, and the Holy Ghost would descend upon Him in the bodily form of a dove. If you come to the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find that as a direct result of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus at the Jordan River He would return from the Jordan full of the Holy Ghost. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is as it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and the activity, the movement and the presence of the Holy Spirit. It would be after Jesus departed from the Jordan River that He would not only do so being clothed by the Holy Spirit but would also be full of the Holy Ghost. It is absolutely incredible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider how Jesus would return from the Jordan River and would indeed do so being full of the Holy Ghost. What’s more is that when you read the entirety of this gospel we rotten by the beloved physician Luke you will find a tremendous emphasis on the presence, the power and the person of the Holy Spirit. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for if you want to truly understand the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ during those days you must needs recognize that it would indeed take place by and through the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is something truly captivating about the words and language which we find in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus as the Holy Spirit would indeed indwell the person of the Lord Jesus. With this being said it is absolutely necessary we understand that from the time the angel Gabriel appeared unto Zacharias beside the altar of incense in the Holy Place in the Temple the Spirit would be very much active in the lives of those who would be connected to the Messiah and the messenger. From Zacharias and Elisabeth, to John the Baptist and Mary, to Simeon and perhaps even Anna the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit would be all over the births of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ. Before we delve into the fourth chapter to help set the stage for what is found in the fifth chapter I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the activity of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit within the lives of those who would be directly connected to the births of the Lord Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. I find it absolutely necessary to invite you to focus on the language that is contained in the first and second chapters of this passage of Scripture for within it we see the movement and activity of the Holy Spirit to not only cause men and women to prophesy but also to proclaim the wonderful works of the living God and even to lead others unto the sanctuary and house of the living God to behold the Messiah of God taking Him up in their arms. There is a great need to pay close attention to the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit within these passage of Scripture for they invite us into the place where we encounter the absolutely wonderful movement and activity of the Holy Spirit within the lives of those who were present during those days leading up to the births of the Messiah of Israel and His messenger who would be born unto Zacharias and Elisabeth. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the first chapter concerning the angelic visitation of Gabriel unto Zacharias in the Holy Place within the Temple beside the altar of incense: “And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink, neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men” (Luke 1:8-25). It is within this passage we read of the angelic visitation of Gabriel who stood in the presence of the living God of heaven and earth and not only professing unto Zacharias that his wife Elisabeth would conceive and bear a son but would also make the first mention of the Holy Spirit in the book of Luke. Here in this passage we find the first mention of the Holy Spirit in the gospel narrative written by Luke—and not only the first mention of the Holy Spirit in the gospel written by Luke but also what was perhaps the first mention of the Holy Spirit in more than four-hundred years. If this isn’t enough you will continue reading the words found within this opening chapter and you will find the angel Gabriel would also appear unto Mary in the Galilaean city of Nazareth. Luke would write how in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto Mary in the town of Nazareth in the region of Galilee and it would be unto Mary the proclamation of the Messiah and Christ would indeed be declared. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke beginning with the twenty-sixth verse: “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb. And bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age? And this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38). We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter and come face to face with Mary asking the angel Gabriel how she would conceive a child within her womb since she had not known or been with a man. The angel Gabriel would respond unto her inquiry by not only declaring unto her that the power of the Highest would overshadow her but the Holy Ghost would come upon her. It would be the presence, the person and the power of the Holy Spirit that would come upon Mary and would enable her to conceive the holy One of God within her womb. It would be a divine act of the Holy Spirit within the physical body of Mary that would indeed allow her to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for just as that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit so also would that which was conceived within the womb of Mary be conceived of the Holy Spirit. Not only this but that which would be conceived within her womb be conceived of the Holy Spirit but that life would not be conceived according to the will of man, nor according to the flesh, nor even according to the plan and design of man. That which would be conceived within the womb of Mary would indeed be conceived by and through the Holy Spirit which would not only open her womb but would also allow the life of the Messiah to be implanted within her that it might be brought forth at the appointed time. With this being said I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the words which are found in this same chapter beginning with the thirty-ninth verse. Here in this chapter beginning with the thirty-ninth verse we find Mary rising up from her place in the town of Nazareth in the midst of Galilee and making her way unto the hill country of Judaea where she would visit with her cousin Elisabeth. It would be the angel Gabriel who would appear unto Mary in the sixth month of the pregnancy of her cousin Elisabeth and would also declare unto her that she would conceive a child in her old age. Scripture is unclear whether or not Elisabeth would have been showing by this time, however, when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will come face to face with a supernatural and spiritual exchange that would take place between Mary the mother of the Lord and the child who was growing within the womb of Elisabeth. The words and language we find here are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them for they call and invite us into the place where we continue to recognize and understand the activity and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the first chapter of this gospel beginning with the thirty-ninth verse: “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45). What makes the words found in the first chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke so incredible intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you continue reading of the activity of the Holy Spirit. Thus far we have read the announcement of the angel Gabriel unto Zacharias beside the altar of incense in the Holy Place of the Temple in the midst of Jerusalem and declaring how the child that would be conceived within the womb of Elisabeth would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. If you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find the angel Gabriel appearing unto Mary and declaring unto her that the Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her thus enabling her to conceive the children within her womb. Shortly after this you will find the Holy Spirit filling Elisabeth when the child within her womb heard the greeting of Mary who was to be the mother of the Lord Jesus. Oh what a truly captivating this reality truly is when you think about it for within this passage of Scripture we do not find out how Elisabeth knew that Mary was going to conceive the Messiah and Lord within her womb. That which we find here is truly unique and powerful when you think about it for as soon as Elisabeth would hear the salutation and greeting of Mary the mother of her Lord she would be filled with the Holy Ghost—and not only would she be filled with the Holy Ghost but she would also be the first to be filled with the Holy Ghost. I would also like to suggest that it was at this particular point in time when two people were indeed filled with the Holy Ghost for not only would Elisabeth be filled with the Holy Ghost but so also would John the Baptist who was growing within her womb be filled with the Holy Ghost. Building upon this reality and concept of being filled with the Holy Ghost I find it necessary to invite you to continue reading the words which are present in this passage of Scripture. It is when you come to the fifty-seventh verse of this chapter you ill find the time of the child within Elisabeth’s womb to come forth and be born into the world. It would be after the child was born unto Elisabeth and Zacharias you will find Elisabeth call his name John. Those who knew her and those who were acquainted with her would try resisting and changing her mind concerning the name of the child, however, she would insist on his name being John. Determined to put this to rest once and for all they would call for Zacharias who was the child’s father to inquire of him as to what the name of the child would be. Upon coming into their presence Zacharias would beckon for a writing tablet upon which he would write how the name of the child would be John. All those present on this particular day would marvel at what manner of child this would be and the events which would take place for not only would Zacharias write the name of the child would be John but immediately his tongue would be loosed and his mouth would be open. Moreover there would be something else that would take place here on this particular day for while Elisabeth was the first to be filled with the Holy Ghost we find Zacharias himself being filled with the Holy Ghost on this particular occasion. Consider if you will the following words which are present within this chapter beginning with the fifty-seventh verse: “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that one the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked him for a writing table, and wrote, saying, his name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied” (Luke 1:57-67). It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke we not only read the angel Gabriel’s proclamation that the child which would be conceived within the womb of his wife Elisabeth would be full of the Holy Ghost form the womb but we would also read how each of them would indeed be filled with the Holy Ghost. Oh there is something truly captivating and astonishing within the opening chapter of this gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke for here we have this physician who would have undoubtedly been acquainted and familiar with what might have been the science of the day, the medicine of the day and perhaps even the reasoning of the day. This is something we need to understand and recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find a proclamation of the angel Gabriel of John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb. Not only this but we also read of both Zacharias and Elisabeth themselves being filled with the Holy Ghost—this in addition to the words which the angel Gabriel would declare unto Mary concerning the Holy Ghost coming upon her and the power of the Highest coming upon her. Oh building upon this all the more it is absolutely necessary to continue reading the words found in this gospel for when you come to the second chapter you will find yet another mention of the presence and person of the Holy Ghost. In fact not only will you find one mention of the Holy Ghost but you will find three distinct references to the Holy Ghost as not only would the Holy Ghost be upon Simeon, and not only would the Holy reveal unto Simeon that he would not taste death until he saw the Lord’s Christ but it would also be the Spirit who would lead Simeon unto the Temple at the precise time Mary and Joseph would be there together with the infant Jesus who was only eight days old at that time: “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openers the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God” (Luke 2:22-28). The words which we see here are a powerful transition to that which we read in the seventh chapter of this New Testament gospel. In the first chapter we read of the Holy Spirit filling Zacharias, Elisabeth and the child which would grow within he womb of Elisabeth. In the second chapter we find the Holy Ghost not only being upon Simeon but also revealing unto him that he would not taste death until he saw the Lord’s Christ. It would also be in the second chapter we read of the Spirit leading Simeon unto the Temple on the precise day and at the precise moment Mary and Joseph would present the infant Jesus unto the Lord according to that which was commanded by Moses in the Law given to him atop Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai. As you continue reading the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find a brief description of Jesus and John the Baptist at the Jordan River. This is something we must needs understand and recognize for this would be the third time in as many gospels where we would read of the baptism of the Lord Jesus at the Jordan River. It would be there at the Jordan River where the heavens would be opened before John the Baptist unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only this but when you continue reading you will find the voice of the Father speaking from heaven before the Holy Ghost would descend upon the Lord Jesus Christ in the bodily form of a dove. It is absolutely necessary to recognize and understand this for when you come to the fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel you will find additional references concerning the Holy Spirit. This time, however, the references and languages we find concerning the Holy Ghost would be in direct relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. From the time the Holy Ghost would descend upon the Lord Jesus in the bodily form of a dove we find Him being personally present and active within His life—and not only within His life but also within the ministry that was ordained and appointed unto Him. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in verses twenty-one and twenty-two of the third chapter we find the first mention of the Holy Ghost being intimately involved with the Lord Jesus. Consider now if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter beginning with the twenty-first verse: “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my belove Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). I am absolutely convinced that when we read the words found in the fifth chapter we must needs understand them in the context of the Spirit’s presence, movement and activity within the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot read the words found in the fifth chapter concerning the power of God that was manifested within the life of the Lord Jesus Christ apart from understanding the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is as you begin reading the fourth chapter you will find the second recorded mention of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus for we have already read of the Holy Ghost descending upon the Lord Jesus in the bodily form of a dove at the Jordan River. Now here we are in the fourth chapter and we find Luke writing how the Lord Jesus would indeed be full of the Holy Ghost and returning from the Jordan River. With this being said we must needs understand that not only did Jesus return from the Jordan River and from baptism full of the Holy Ghost but it would be that same Spirit who would lead Him into the wilderness where He would be tempted of the devil. Oh how absolutely remarkable and incredible it is to read the fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel and not only read of Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost but also being led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Oh there is something truly remarkable about the language found in the fourth chapter for within it we find the Holy Spirit being intimately and personally involved in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ from the time He would descend upon Him at the Jordan River, to the time He would lead Him into the wilderness to even that which the Lord Jesus would declare unto those who were present in the synagogue which was present in the town of Nazareth. In the opening verses of the fourth chapter we find the mention of Jesus returning full of the Holy Ghost and being led by the Spirit into the wilderness and if you continue reading you will find continued language concerning the activity of the Holy Spirit within the life of Jesus. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of this gospel beginning with the first verse: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned form Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and say down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:14-22). Please don’t miss the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the activity and involvement of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus for if you want to truly understand the ministry He was sent, called, ordained and appointed unto you must needs recognize that it would be the presence and person of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus that would indeed enable Him to be able to speak the words the Father would ordain Him to speak and carry out the works the Father had purposed for Him to do. If you come to the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel you will find Luke writing how it would come to pass that the people would press upon the Lord Jesus to hear the word of God. So intense was this pressing to hear the word of God as He stood by the lake of Gennesaret that He would see two ships standing by the like with the fishermen having gone out of them and washing their nets. Jesus would enter one of the ships which was Simon’s and would pray him that he would thrust out a little from the land. After Simon obeyed the word and voice of the Lord Jesus and thrust out from the land Jesus would sit down and teach the people from out of the ship. WHEN A SHIP BECOMES A PULPIT! It is within this passage of Scripture we find that after Jesus had finished speaking he would speak directly unto Simon and give Him a very specific instruction. There in the midst of the ship which was in the sea Jesus would instruct Simon to (1) launch out into the deep, and (2) let down your nets for a draught. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture for there would indeed be two parts to the command and instruction of the Lord Jesus—the first being launching out into the deep and the second being letting down the nets for a draught. Here in this passage of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus first instructing Simon to thrust out a little from the land which would be the first instruction and command given unto him. This initial movement of the ship from the land would be to provide the Lord Jesus with a pulpit whereby He might teach the multitude and crowd of people. Scripture is unclear what the Lord Jesus would share with the multitude of people who were gathered before and unto Him, however, we do not that after the speaking and teaching would come the command and instruction. It would be there in the midst of the lake of Gennesaret Jesus would give Simon bar-Jona a command to launch out into the deep and let down his nets that he might catch a draught. There in the midst of the sea the Lord Jesus would give Simon a command and instruction and Simon would indeed be faced with whether or not he would indeed respond to the command given him by the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact as you read the words which are found in this passage you will find that in response to the command and instruction of the Lord Jesus Simon would answer and speak unto Him saying, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing. Initially Simon would speak unto Jesus of all they had labored and all they had toiled and how they had caught nothing. As fishermen I am sure Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John were used to returning from a night on the open water having caught nothing. Oh in fact I can’t help but wonder how many times Simon and his brother Andrew had returned from a night of fishing and letting down their nets and not catching anything. How many times had they labored and toiled only to find themselves coming up empty-handed? How many times would they labor all night and return with their nets being entirely and altogether empty? What’s more is when you consider that this was indeed their livelihood and what they would need to live and survive during those days. On this particular day there would be a great multitude of people who would press against the Lord Jesus for to hear the word of God and would eventually find Jesus entering into a ship and asking Simon to thrust out a little from the land. There in the midst of the sea the Lord Jesus would speak unto and teach the people before eventually He would make an end of speaking. It would be when He had made an end of speaking that He would then instruct Simon bar-Jona to launch out into the deep—and not only launch out into the deep but to let down his nets. Oh there would be the initial thrusting out from the land and remaining in the shore where the Lord Jesus would teach the word of God and preach the gospel of the kingdom, however, there was something else which needed to take place—something that would and could only take place in the deep waters. It would be in the shallow waters close to the land Jesus would speak unto and teach the people, however, it would be in the deep waters of the lake a supernatural work would take place. There in the midst of the deep waters Simon would be in the presence of the Lord Jesus with a command given him by the Lord. In the midst of the deep waters Simon would be instructed to let down his nets that he might catch a draught. Undoubtedly Jesus was aware of the fact that he had labored and toiled all night and had come up empty, however, there were two distinct elements that would transform this journey into the deep. The first would be the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the ship and the second would be the command which was given and spoken by the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s not only that Jesus would be present in the ship together with Simon called Peter but Simon would also launch out with a command and a promise. We must needs recognize and understand that not only would Simon launch out into the deep with a command and a promise but he would also launch out with the presence of the Lord Jesus in the ship. THE PRESENCE! THE COMMAND! THE PROMISE! I sit here today thinking about the words found in this passage of Scripture and I am struck with the weight and magnitude of what is present within it. Here in this passage of Scripture we find Jesus instructing and commanding Simon to launch out into the deep, however, what we must recognize is that even before Simon would launch out into the deep He would have both the command and promise of the Lord Jesus. Not only this but directly connected to the command and the promise of the Lord Jesus would be the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the ship. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly unique and powerful bout that which is present in this passage of Scripture. Simon would initially be given the command to thrust out a little from the land and it would be there in the shallow waters he would hear the word(s) and teaching(s) of the Lord Jesus. With this being said, however, there would be an even greater and deeper work that would need to take place—not only in the midst of the waters but also within the heart and soul of Simon. There in the shallow waters Simon would hear the teaching and word of the Lord Jesus, however, what we must needs recognize is that even with that teaching there would also need to be a deeper and greater work that needed to take place. There in the midst of the lake there would be the teaching that would take place in the shallows, however, there would be a supernatural and spiritual work that would take place in the shallow waters. There in the deeper waters there would not only be a supernatural work of a great draught of fish but there would also be a supernatural and spiritual work which would take place within the heart and soul of Simon. Luke writes and records how Simon and his brother inclosed such a great multitude of fish that their nets would begin to break. As a direct result of this they would beckon to their partners which were in the other ship that they should come and help them. So great was the catch of fish that it would fill both ships so that they began to sink. It would be as a direct result of this that Simon Peter would fall down at the feet of Jesus and would ask Him to depart from him for he was a sinful man. If there is one thing I truly love about the words which we find in this passage of Scripture it’s not only the response of Simon in the midst of the deep waters but also Simon’s response when they would return to the shore. I can’t say this with absolutely certainty but I would suggest that it was that supernatural and spiritual work which took place in the deep waters that would not only position Simon in the place where He would response in humility in the presence of the Lord Jesus but also where he would be willing within his heart and mind to forsake everything to follow the Lord Jesus. Luke writes how when Simon had beheld the supernatural miracle which was performed there in the midst of the deep waters he would fall at Jesus’ knees and ask him to depart from him for he was a sinful man. What’s more is that Luke writes how James and John together with Simon’s brother Andrew were astonished at the miracle that would take place in the midst of the deep waters. It would be there in the midst of the deep waters where I would dare say something greater was captured from the depths—though not from the depths of the sea. I would dare say that there in the depths of the sea the Lord Jesus would draw up that which was present within the depths of the hearts and souls of Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and his brother John. There in the midst of the deep waters they would inclose such a great multitude of fishes that their nets would break and yet I would dare say that Jesus accomplished more than that and would inclose the hearts and souls of these four fishermen. Scripture reveals how when they brought their ships to land they would forsake all and followed Him. Oh imagine being a fisherman and inclosing such a great draught of fish which was your livelihood and then upon returning to the shore—not only would you forsake your ships and the net but you would also forsake the fish which were perhaps still in the midst of the ship. Oh stop and consider what this would have looked like as these four brothers would not only forsake their ships, they would not only forsake their nets, but James and John would forsake their father and they would forsake the incredible catch of fishes they had just caught. I have to admit that I absolutely love the language that is found in the opening verses of the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. What would begin with the multitude of people pressing the Lord Jesus Christ for to hear the word of God would eventually culminate and transition with Simon called Peter falling down at Jesus’ knees in the midst of the ship in complete and utter humility. There is something truly unique and powerful about the words and language we find in this passage of Scripture for not only do we find Simon falling down at the feet of Jesus but we also find him begging the Lord Jesus to depart from him for he was a sinful man. In that moment in the midst of the depths of the sea when Simon encountered the supernatural and spiritual manifestation of the divine power of God he was confronted with his own humanity and sinfulness. What’s more is that when we read the words found in this passage we can’t help but be reminded of the encounter the prophet Isaiah had in the year king Uzziah died. As I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but be absolutely captivated by the narrative written in the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah found in the Old Testament. If you turn and direct your attention to the words presented in that passage of Scripture you will find that in the year king Uzziah died—not only did the prophet Isaiah see the LORD God seated on His throne but he would also see him high and lifted up with His train filling the Temple. The prophet Isaiah would indeed see the train of the robe of the living God filling the Temple and would then hear the same type of exclamation and declaration with the apostle John would hear in heaven as recorded in the fourth and fifth chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am absolutely convinced we must needs pay close attention to this particular truth for there in the southern kingdom of Judah the prophet Isaiah would indeed be confronted with his own humanity and sinfulness. Not only this but it would be this vision and revelation of the glory and holiness of the living God that would cause Isaiah to be directly confronted with his own humanity and sinfulness in the presence of the living God. I firmly believe that if you want to truly understand the narrative we find in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the beloved physician Luke we must also recognize the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah. While it is indeed true that Isaiah would see the LORD God seated upon His throne and the train of His robe filling the temple it is also true that he would see a vision of the cherubim in heaven who would each have six wings. These cherubim would make a thunderous declaration and proclamation in heaven—so much so that the posts of the Temple would shake as a direct result. It would be in response to the vision of the LORD God Almighty, the vision of the cherubim, the hearing of their declaration and proclamation in the sight and presence of the living God the prophet Isaiah would be confronted with his own sinfulness and holiness. The declaration which the prophet Isaiah heard the cherubim exclaim in the midst of heaven would indeed be similar in nature to that which we find in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the fourth and fifth chapters of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus we find the apostle John beholding and witnessing the throne room in heaven and the immense and wonderful worship that would take place in the midst thereof. It is having said this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah followed by that which we see in the fourth and fifth chapters of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ: “IN the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with train he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto m,e having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with t he tongues from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:1-9). “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art, Worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11). “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look therein. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look therein. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odour, which are the prayers of saints. And they sent a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:1-10). “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-14). We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the incredibly awesome truth surrounding a prophet of the LORD who would see the LORD seated upon a throne high and lifted up with His train filling the Temple. Not only this but the prophet would also see the seraphim round about and above the throne—each with six wings which they used two to cover their faces, two to cover their feet and two to fly. These seraphim would emphatically proclaim and declare in the sight and presence of the living God in heaven, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty.” Not only would they proclaim this threefold declaration of the holiness of the living God but they would also speak of the glory of the Almighty God for they would go on to declare how the whole earth was full of the glory of the living God. This is something which must needs be carefully considered for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the account of Simon called Peter in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke. It would be in this chapter we find Simon called Peter being confronted with his own humanity and sinfulness. There in the midst of the depths of the sea Simon would fall down at the knees of the Lord Jesus and would not only intreat Him to depart from him but he would also go on to speak of himself as a sinful man. This would be directly attributed to the supernatural miracle which would take place in the depths of the sea for at the command of the Lord Jesus—not only would Simon launch out into the deep but so also would he let down his net. As a direct result of the command and instruction of the living God—in addition to the promise giving him concerning catching a draught—Simon and his brother Andrew would inclose such a great catch of fish that they would have to beckon for James and his brother John to come and assist them. So great was this draught of fishes that their nets would break their nets and cause the boasts to sink. I absolutely love the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative for within it we encounter a desire to hear the word of God. Not only do we find this desire to hear the word of God but we also find the command of the Lord Jesus it Simon—first to thrust the ship out a little from the shore that he might teach the people and secondly to launch out into the deep and let down their nets for a draught. Upon returning to the land after hauling the catch of fish in the midst of the seat Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and John would forsake everything and follow the Lord Jesus. When we come to the twelfth verse of this chapter you will find Simon and his brother Andrew together with James and his brother John forsaking their ships, forsaking their nets, forsaking their livelihood, forsaking that which they had perhaps known all their lives and perhaps even the great catch of fish they had enclosed on that particular day to follow the Lord Jesus. It would be within the first eleven verses of the fifth chapter we find that as a direct result of the supernatural miracle and work which would take place in the midst of the sea Simon and his brother Andrew together with James and his brother John forsaking everything that they might follow the Lord Jesus Christ. So profound was their encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ that they would completely and utterly forsake everything they had and everything they had known that they might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. These two sets of brothers would not only forsake everything to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but they would also forsake everything to walk with and fellowship together one with another. Their decision to forsake everything was not only about their walking with and following the Lord Jesus but it was also about their desire and willingness to walk with and fellowship together one with another. As you continue reading the words found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find that it would come to pass when Jesus was in a certain city there would come unto him a man full of leprosy. This man—upon seeing Jesus—would fall on his face and beseech him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for in the first eleven verses of this chapter we find SImon falling down at the knees of the Lord Jesus and beseeching Him to depart from him for he was a sinful man. Rather than speaking of the sinfulness of Simon and perhaps even judging and condemning him for the sin that was in his life the Lord Jesus would lovingly and gently command him to fear not for from that moment on he would be a fisher of men. Immediately following this encounter in the midst of the ship and the deep waters of the sea we find Jesus entering into a certain city and a man who was full of leprosy coming unto Jesus and falling on his face before Him beseeching Him earnestly concerning his condition. This man would beseech the Lord Jesus saying that if He was willing he would and could make him clean. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this particular account for this man would come unto the Lord Jesus and would fall down at His feet completely unsure and having absolutely no clue whether or not the Lord Jesus would make Him clean. The only thing this man knew for sure was that if Jesus was willing He would and could make him clean and whole of his leprosy. Undoubtedly this man would take a great risk by making such a bold move as to find and search out Jesus in the midst of the city that he might entreat Him whether or not He was willing to make him clean. This man was entirely and altogether unsure whether or not the Lord Jesus was willing to make him clean and I have to wonder if he had any expectation that Jesus would indeed respond to his passionate plea. If there is one thing I absolutely love about this passage of Scripture it’s that not only was Jesus willing to make this man clean of his leprosy—that which made him unclean according to the Law of Moses—but Jesus was also willing to stretch forth his hand that he might touch this man. Scripture would record for the third time how the Lord Jesus would first touch this man and would then speak unto him declaring that He was willing to make him clean. What we find next is truly remarkable and astounding when you take the time to think about it for not only do we find Jesus proclaiming unto this man that He was willing to make him clean but He would also speak the word and give the command that he be clean. BE THOU CLEAN! There in the midst of the city the Lord Jesus would stretch forth His hand and touch this man—something which those present would have looked upon and viewed as being completely and utterly foolish. Undoubtedly if anyone else other than Jesus had touched this man and/or come in contact with him they risked being unclean as a direct result of coming in contact with one who was unclean. What makes this passage of Scripture so incredibly powerful is when you consider the fact that the one who was entirely and altogether clean and pure could not be defiled and made unclean by any such thing as leprosy. The Lord Jesus would indeed stretch forth his hand and touch this man who was full of leprosy as a wonderful and powerful display of His compassion. The Lord Jesus could have simply spoken the word “Be thou clean” and cleansed this man of his leprosy, however, the Lord Jesus would stretch forth His hand and touch the man. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this particular truth for the Lord Jesus did not have to stretch forth His hand and touch this man. The Lord Jesus could have simply spoken the word that would make this man clean for later on in this gospel we find ten lepers coming unto the Lord Jesus beseeching Him that he might cleanse them. Jesus would not stretch forth his hand, nor would He command them to be clean for He would simply instruct them to go and show themselves unto the priest. It would be as a direct result of their turning themselves about in faith believing the word of the Lord Jesus that they would immediately be cleansed and made whole of their leprosy. This would not be the case for this man for the Lord Jesus would stretch forth His hand and touch him before speaking the word that would bring about his cleansing. The more you read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more you will encounter and come face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth of the power of the word and command of the Lord Jesus. Jesus would stretch forth His hand and touch this man and it’s important to note that He could have very easily simply touched him and not spoken a word. Jesus could have cleanse this man with a simple touch as He stretched forth his hand and touched him. Scripture, however, reveals that Jesus would do more than simply stretch forth His hand and touch this man for He would also proclaim His willingness to make him clean before speaking the word commanding him to be clean. The command the Lord Jesus had spoken would not only be for this man to be clean but also for the leprosy to depart from his physical body. Oh this is something we must needs pay close attention to when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for it would call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the words which the Lord Jesus would speak unto him. The Lord Jesus would not only declare that He was willing to make this man clean but He would also give the command and speak the word that would cause him to be made clean—and not only cause him to be made clean but would also cause leprosy to retreat from his physical body. Scripture reveals how immediately the leprosy departed from him thus causing him to be completely whole and clean in that instant. This man who didn’t merely have leprosy on his body but was full of leprosy would find himself being made entirely and altogether clean in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus. It would be immediately following this the Lord Jesus would charge him to tell no man but to go and show himself unto the priest and offer for his cleansing according as Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. There is something incredibly unique and powerful about the words we find in this passage of Scripture for not only would Jesus cause this man to be made clean but he would also make him clean according to the law of Moses. This man had perhaps spent a considerable amount of time being unclean according to the Law of Moses and might very well have been somewhat cut off from society and even from fellowship. I am absolutely convinced when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that Jesus did more for this man than simply make him clean of the leprosy which was present within his physical body. I am absolutely convinced that Jesus would cleanse this man of his leprosy and would send him unto the priests as a witness and testimony unto them of his cleansing. Imagine what it was like for this man to depart from the presence of the Lord Jesus and make his way unto the priests that he might show himself as being clean according to the law of Moses. This man would be entirely and altogether cleansed from his leprosy—and not only this but I would dare say that he would be restored unto fellowship with those around him once more. I cannot escape the fact that the Lord Jesus did more than simply cleanse this man of his leprosy for the Lord Jesus would also restore and present him unto society once more. By cleansing this man of his leprosy Jesus would indeed make him clean but He would also restore him unto fellowship unto the world and society before and around him. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how in the first eleven verses we find Simon Peter entreating Jesus to depart from him for he was a sinful man while in this passage of Scripture you will this man who was full of leprosy declaring unto Jesus that if He was willing He would make him clean. This man who was full of leprosy and was unclean according to the law of Moses would not only be made clean but would also be sent unto the priests as a testimony and witness unto them of the mighty and wonderful work of the living God in his life. As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible to behold the incredible power and might that was found in the person and presence of the Lord Jesus. Jesus who had returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and whom the Spirit of the sovereign LORD had anointed and sent would make this man who was full of leprosy completely and utterly clean according to the law of Moses. Not only this but if you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus offering forgiveness unto one who was taken with a palsy. It would be as you continue reading in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus not only declaring unto ANEO concerning this man that his sins were forgiven him but we also find Jesus going on to heal this man of the palsy which had overtaken his physical body. Despite the grumbling and murmuring of the religious leaders which were present in the midst of the house the Lord Jesus would further confirm this man’s sins would indeed be forgiven and would also heal him. This man who was unable to be brought unto the Lord Jesus because the house was filled to capacity with people round about even the door of the house and yet those who carried him unto the Lord Jesus were be determined to bring this man into the presence of the Lord Jesus. This man would be let down on his mat from the roof of the house because the way they thought he would be able to enter the presence of the Lord Jesus was not possible. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and read how the Lord Jesus would indeed and and would in fact not only forgive this man of his sins but would also heal him of the palsy which had overtaken his physical body. OH how absolutely wonderful it is to read this passage of Scripture and not only call one who viewed themselves as a sinner in His sight and presence, and not only cleanse and make clean one who was full of leprosy but also forgive the sins and heal one who was taken with a palsy. What’s more is that within this passage of scripture we also find the Lord Jesus calling one who was a publican—and perhaps not even a publican but also a sinner—to follow Him. As if this weren’t enough the Lord Jesus would also be found eating and drinking together with publicans and sinners in the house of a publican whom he had called to walk with and follow Him. I would like to bring this writing to a close by calling your attention to the graciousness and compassion of the Lord Jesus who would not only call one who viewed themselves as unclean and as a sinner to follow Him but He would also call one who was a publican and perhaps considered a sinner by others to walk with and follow Him. Not only this but within this same passage of Scripture we find Jesus emphatically proclaiming unto the man who was taken with the palsy that his sins were forgiven before commanding him to arise, take up his couch and go into his house. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of when reading this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter a Jesus who is not only willing to make men and women clean but also one who was willing to forgive the sins of those who were brought into his presence. In addition to this we find the Lord Jesus calling one who was a publican—and perhaps even a sinner—to walk with and follow Him. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to a Jesus who was incredibly willing to forgive sins, to make clean and even call those who were once sinners to walk with and follow Him. Oh that we would read the words found in this passage of Scripture and come face to face with the truly awesome and wonderful reality of the Lord Jesus who was indeed willing to make clean, to forgive sins and to even call sinners alike to walk with and follow Him. As it this weren’t enough we also find Jesus being willing to eat and drink with publicans and sinners—this despite what the religious leaders and religion would think of such a reality. Oh that we would ourselves fall down at the feet of Jesus and not only ask Him to make us clean but also that we would allow him to make us clean and to indeed forgive us of our sins that we might walk before Him in purity, holiness and righteousness. .

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