Miruna Veenhuis - Lead Pastor
I love the Gospel of Luke because it’s like a documentary. Luke presents the works and teachings of Jesus in an orderly, chronological way. It’s a well-researched and well-crafted investigation into the life of Jesus.
Luke recorded so many wonderful things Jesus did, but I’m going to focus on faith and how some of the people who encountered Jesus chose faith and were astounded by what happened.
Chapter 5 of Luke starts with Jesus calling His first disciples. Let’s take a closer look at verse 2, when Jesus got into a boat, belonging to Simon Peter, and asked him to put out a little from shore.
Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
This happens right after Simon Peter hears Jesus speak, which would’ve made his faith rise. He is in the presence of Jesus. Yet, he leans on his human logic and tries to explain all the reasons why it won’t work. This is my life's occupation and you are a rabbi; he seems to be thinking, and that as a fisherman he should know there was no way there would be fish there.
But then Peter decides to exercise his faith in Jesus. He chooses to walk in obedience and faith even if it makes no sense to him. He does it because he knows Jesus’s word is stronger than his human logic.
“Peter decides to exercise his faith in Jesus. He chooses to walk in obedience and faith even if it makes no sense to him.”
How many of us can think of circumstances in our life where we are like Peter and don’t see how something is going to work out? You do the math. You do the calculations. And it just doesn’t add up in the natural.
But at the same time, you’re in the presence of Jesus, so you listen to Him. You realize it’s time to not rely on your limited understanding, it’s time to put your faith into action.
Sometimes we need to let things bypass our minds and go into our hearts. As we continue to read Luke 4, we see the disciples were amazed that the net broke because there were so many fish. In this moment, Simon realized the truth about Jesus’s word. He was blown away. He fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
In Chapter 5, the person who shows active faith is a leper. Verse 12 says, “While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged Him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’”
What to note here, along with faith, is compassion. Jesus healed with compassion. According to Jewish law or customs, you had to keep six feet from a leper. The only thing more defiling than contact with a leper was contact with a dead person. For these reasons, leprosy was considered a picture of sin and its effects.
The leper knew all this, but he had the faith to come to Jesus. He knew the degree of his problem. He knew what people thought of it. He had no previous example of Jesus healing a leper. He had no promise, no invitation. He must have felt ashamed and alone. Yet he went to Jesus and made clear he was sure Jesus was able to heal him. His only question was if Jesus was willing.
Some of us sometimes feel like that leper- so full of sin and so out there. But this passage is so encouraging because it shows Jesus’s compassion. He is not only able to heal, but He is willing, so He takes it a step further and touches the leper and heals him.
“He is not only able to heal, but He is willing, so He takes it a step further and touches the leper and heals him.”
In Chapter 8, Jesus heals Jairus’s daughter. Jesus tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid - only believe.” Faith and fear don’t go together. Someone came and told Jairus to give up, that his daughter was dead, and that he should stop bothering Jesus. But Jairus chose faith over fear, and he was rewarded by seeing his beloved daughter brought back to life.
In all this we see how the work of Jesus is different in each different situation. Yet each person involved sees miraculous results because of their faith. It’s no different today. If Jesus can touch each need this personally, He can touch our needs the same way.
How many of you need a touch from God? If you need healing, you need to step out in faith and recommit to Him and go after Him.