Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 8 of Lent, Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today's Reading: Luke 5:1-26

Miraculous Catch of Fish
by Anton Losenko, 1762.
Within the Gospels, only Luke and John record when Jesus directed the disciples to an abundant catch of fish.  In Luke's Gospel, it occurs following his teaching from the boat and right before he calls Peter, James and John to follow him.  In John's Gospel, Jesus is on the shore and it happens toward the end following the resurrection (John 21:1-14).

Peter declares himself to be a sinner and Jesus begins to break down the barriers common to the day by bringing him into the fold as his disciple.

The next instance of healing the leper is also a break from what is proper.

In verse 13, Jesus touches the man which would be taboo.  He bids him to show himself to the priests as per Leviticus 14:2-32.  In doing this, Jesus is returning the man to his community - to his family and his friends.  He is restored to his place in society.

Jesus then claims authority to forgive sins outside of the rituals required by a priest.  He heals the man which showed the Pharisees that he implicitly had God's favor to forgive sins since it would be through God's power that the paralytic was able to walk again.

The real question for us within this passage for Lent would be the following:

"Which is easier?  To say, 'your sins are forgiven' or to say, 'Get up and walk?'"

Our own power to forgive our neighbors lies within us and is easier to grant than physical healing.  Jesus begins to break people out of our standard categories - sinner becomes disciple, leper returns to society, paralytic is forgiven and healed.  How would our forgiveness of others move us toward healing what is broken?

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