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Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from THE WEEK ENDING:
October 24 1999

Tree of Life 10/24/99

We wish to see Jesus!,

How Big is your God?
In JOH 12:20-21, we read, "Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast [the Passover] these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and {began to} ask him, saying, Sir, we wish to see Jesus." That one statement "we wish to see Jesus" has been the goal of this study, for us as believers to glory and boast in the Lord Jesus Christ.We have seen the Lord surprise Simon and the other fishermen with a catch that was beyond their dreams in LUK 5:1-11 which caused them to leave everything and follow Him. When the Lord steps in and does the incredible, He has an objective in mind. He has an agenda, which often has nothing to do with the substance. When He told Peter that from now on he would be catching fish, He wasn't suggesting that they go into the fishing business together, what this is all about.....is people. In LUK 5:10, the Lord said "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." The Greek verb "zogreo" means to be catching men alive. In other words, the good news of the Gospel and the wisdom of Bible doctrine would capture the heart of millions of people.
LUK 5:11 "And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him."
Some Personal Applications
1. The Lord chooses not to minister to others all alone.
2. The Lord also uses the familiar to do the incredible. He walked to the edge of the lake where they were. He used the routine for the fishermen as a means of teaching them and calling them, that's why we can't afford to be familiar with the familiar. God often reveals His glory in the everyday grind of life, you will be amazed at how the Lord can use you in your sphere of influence to do incredible work for Him.
3. If God is calling you to launch a similar boat of faith, and you are staggering and faltering on the brink of that decision, do not be afraid to venture out. Remember that the Master of the wind and waves is in the boat with you.
4. There are times, you have to get out in the deep and take the risk. Take the chance. Step out!
5. Jesus reveals His objective to those who are willing to relinquish their security. Only after the disciples gave up the safety of the shore did Jesus finally reveal His purpose. "From now on you will be catching men."
Next in LUK 5:12-16, we have the cleansing of the leper. In addition, all these passages offer the following question:
How big is your God?
Only you can answer that. This is significant because the size of your God will determine the extent of your willingness to trust in Him. What is your mental image of God? How do you conceive Him everyday as far as your mental attitude is concerned? Do you pray sooner or later? Do you think to pray first when you hit one of those walls in your life? On the other hand, is it after you have done all that you can do that you call upon your God? Are fears and worries your regular companions? Do they travel with you in life? There must come a time when our mind is overwhelmed and astonished with the realization that God is as great as we say He is. JOH 14:11.
If you want to expand your appreciation for and your vision of God, study the Son of God which makes a study in the gospels so magnificent.
JOH 10:30 "I and the Father are one."
JOH 12:45 "And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me."
To see Jesus is to see God the Father. In LUK chapter 5, we find His ministering to two men in great need, both of them absolutely helpless. One is a diseased man full of leprosy and the other is a man paralyzed unable to get off a stretcher.

The Leper:

Leprosy is an ancient disease, and those who suffer from it often suffer in the mind. Perhaps because in biblical times, a leper was turned into an outcast. LEV 13:45. The Bible uses leprosy as an illustration of sin in our natural realm. We are said to be like lepers, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness in us, ISA 1:5-6.
To the Jews, leprosy was a symbol of sin and it was considered loathsome and incurable. Therefore, the leper, even though he feels unworthy, disgraced, and filled with shame, walks up to Jesus and in LUK 5:12 says; "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." A simplistic statement but so magnificent. One that should cause us to admire the leper.
The Lord responds with compassion in verse 13. He does not simply say, "be clean". Look at what He does. LUK 5:13 "And He stretched out His hand, and touched him," He stretched out his hand, He did not have to touch him! In the compassion of His heart, He reaches out and puts His hand on the man. This man was grotesque and repulsive, untouchable; however, Jesus came to touch the untouchables. He says:
LUK 5:13 "I am willing; be cleansed." And immediately the leprosy left him."
Since this is the only cure of leprosy recorded by all the three first Evangelists, it was probably the first case of the kind; and if so, this leper's faith in the power of Christ must have been formed in him by what he had heard of His other cures. ruin by the old sin nature.In Luke 5:17-26, the paralytic is healed. We read that people from every village of Galilee were coming, and there were over 200 villages.People of the villages of Judea and from the capital city of Jerusalem were also coming. The men who carried the paralytic demonstrated faith when they broke through the tiles of this little flat roof and let the man down in front of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith was great. However, those were not the things that stand out. What stands out is the fact that the power of the Lord was present. That's what supplied Him with the power to do the healing, as verse 17 says, the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.Now, you talk about an uplifting context. Here is a man who is paralyzed. This man cannot move. For this man, it was a tragic, devastating, pathetic situation.This is why there "should have been" excitement in the air. Isn't it great, the Lord said in verse 24, "Rise, and take up your stretcher and go home". Then in verse 25, the guy looks up at him, says OK, gets right up, rolls up his stretcher, everybody is applauding, probably his family and those guys who hauled him up there and let him down through the roof, they must have been ecstatic. Everybody is rejoicing and celebrating and glorying in what the Lord has just done..........EXCEPT FOR A GROUP, the Scribes and Pharisees. They do not believe in having fun and being ecstatic. They do not believe in applauding and rejoicing over a great event when you break their little box and concept of God. Moreover, they are still around today. They are the faultfinders. They are the critics. They are the ones who look to find if the "i" was dotted or the "t" was crossed. We will give some more background to help you appreciate what these people were wrestling with at this time. The basis of the Law was the Ten Commandments, and they became the principles for life. However, for a certain section of the Jews that was not enough. They desired not great principles, but a rule to cover every conceivable situation.
From the Ten Commandments they proceeded to develop an elaborate these rules. For example, take the Sabbath, the commandment said; "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy", and then it goes on to say, that on the Sabbath no work must be done, Exo 20 8-11. Now, the these Jewish leaders asked, "What is work?" They went on to define it under thirty-nine different heads, which they called `Fathers of Work'. However, even that was not enough, each of these heads were greatly subdivided, and thousands of rules and regulations began to emerge. These were called the `Oral Law'. In addition, they began to be said even above the Ten Commandments.
Let us take an actual example. One of the works that was forbidden on the Sabbath was carrying a burden, but the legalist insisted a burden must be defined, so definition was given. A burden is food equal in weight to a dried fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, oil enough to anoint a small member of the body,water enough to moisten an eye salve, paper enough to write a customhouse notice upon, ink enough to write two letters, etc. So for a tailor to leave a pin or a needle in his robe on the Sabbath was to break the law and to sin. To pick up a stone big enough to fling at a bird on the Sabbath was a sin. Therefore, goodness became identifiable with these endless rules and regulations. However, Jesus had no use for rules or regulations like that. For Him, the cry of human needs superseded all such things, but the Scribes and Pharisees said that made Him a lawbreaker, a bad man.
So in LUK 5:21 "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this {man} who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
LUK 5:22 "But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts?"
LUK 5:23 "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins have been forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
They were questioning His right to say, "Your sins are forgiven", and that is why He said, "Rise up and walk." You see what He did? If He said, "Your sins are forgiven", and that was it, that is somewhat simple, He can fake that. But what if He said "Rise up and walk." That is exactly what happened, He called their hand. That is what we are dealing with here. A man who gets up having been paralyzed for some time, living his life on a stretcher and moved about only with the help of others, stands up, rolls up his bed and is able to walk out of that room to the joy and delight of hundreds of people. Yet, these religious scribes and Pharisees are sitting there counting their rules and regulations. What is wrong with that? When our list gets longer and our negative mentality gets deeper, we limit God by putting Him in our box, our God gets smaller.When we think we know Him and we have everything down pat, we make Him smaller in our lives. If you live by a list or a concept of what you think God is like and put God in your little box, your God is to small. If you live by biblical principles based on the truth of scripture, your God can grow into the size beyond this universe. Only you can answer that. It is in the presence of a Big God, that they left glorifying His name.
LUK 5:26 "And they were all seized with astonishment and {began} glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today."
They are seized with astonishment and they filled with the right kind of fear, awesome! Awesome fear. Can you remember the last time you were awe struck with the realization that God is here, wherever you may have been? When you saw Him move or change events, maybe not in a moment of time, but as you wrapped it all up in that chapter of your life,
you look at the end of the chapter and you said, "Only God could have done that"! That is being awe-struck. He is in this moment. When that happens you are seized with astonishment. Sometimes we just laugh aloud in gratitude, and sometimes it just makes us silent.

Is Your God Too Small?

 

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