Jesus’ life is full of grace people didn’t want, for example, We have the story where Jesus was in a house teaching, and there was a huge crowd gathered. Some guys had a friend who was paralyzed, and they wanted to bring him to Jesus to see if He might heal him. They couldn’t get in because of the crowd, so they climbed up on the roof and dug a hole through it, and lowered the paralyzed guy down right in front of Jesus. The story goes on in Luke 5:17-26:
Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”“But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”–He said to the paralytic–“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.”
Here is the issue. We think we are the helpers, the friends. We think we are going to be the good guys. But sometimes, we are the skeptical reasoners, the grace haters. We question whether He should forgive. We are shocked when He blesses, when He heals. We want Him to heal the deserving. We deserve, why would He bless these other undeserving people? Why does this other person get to teach when I have to do children’s ministry?
But this is not the point. When we are not the good guy, He overcomes. He heals anyway. He proves He can forgive. He reasons with us. He persists in saying that grace is better. He gives undeserved blessing when we don’t want Him to. He is not held back or tamed by our small and selfish desires. He comes to US as the healer. We are the judge and the sinner and the paralytic, and He overcomes them all. The one group we might imagine we resemble in the story are the friends who carried the paralytic, but really we fill that role only rarely.
Because He is gracious we can say, I am only a sinner, I am paralyzed, these friends may be of service but I can do nothing but sin. And so only because He wishes, and by none of my merit, He touches me. He blesses me anyway, but the blessing is only a shadow and a sign of the greater blessing of forgiveness and undeserved love.
Father, prove your forgiveness and acceptance flows in our lives and show us miracles and great works that we don’t deserve at all! Amen!