2.9.14 The difference between Authority and authorities

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Epiphany- Day 34

Psalm 138 NIV

I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.

May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.

May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.

Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly,
but the proud he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.


Luke 5:17-26
NIV

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

CONSIDER THIS. . .

There are three groups of people involved in the scene unfolded for us in today’s Gospel text. First there are the authorities, those for whom the status quo is working. It’s interesting to note what the scripture points out here: These Pharisees and Scribes had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. That had to be more than a few people. They are guarding their power and their posture reveals as much. They had the most to lose.

Next there is the crowd, the people who packed themselves into the house to get what Jesus had to give. They needed something. Jesus was healing people. The impersonal crowd ever drifts between the authorities and the Authority. They will go with the power.

Then there are the friends who believe the impossible. This is who Jesus seems most interested in.

Which group do you find yourself in these days?

 

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