Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 5 Study # 2
December 10, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<304> Thesis: God's goal is to provide a true foundation for legitimate love and faith. Introduction: Last week we spent our study time considering the phrase "while the sun was setting." We made the point that the people were not acting out of a legitimate faith because they were not involved in a legitimate love. It is clear from this text in its context that the people were somewhat committed to the idea that one needed to "keep the rules" in order to obtain goodness from God. They waited until the sabbath was over before they came to Jesus. It is just as clear from this text in its context that those same "rule-keepers" were streaming to Jesus as a "rule-breaker". It is inescapable from even the most casual reading of Luke 15:14 that the people had been taught that what Jesus did on the sabbath was "against the rules". So, this sets up a rather significant contradiction. How can it be legitimate for those who see "blessing arising from rule-keeping" to stream for blessing to a man who is "breaking the rules"? Does this not tell us very clearly that the people were not as interested in doing what is right as they were getting what they wanted? And, is not this willingness to violate what is right in order to obtain what is desired the root of Sin? What if Jesus had "worshiped" the devil in order to obtain all the glory of all of the kingdoms of this world? Would that not have been sin? If Jesus was a "rule-breaker", He was the devil. How could the people, in good conscience, come to Him for healing and deliverance if He was not even doing as good a job of keeping the sabbath as they were? These questions help us to understand Luke's record of the dawning of a greater clarity upon the grace of God. The wonder of grace is that it takes no consideration of the immorality of its objects. In fact, it is not grace if any consideration of the immorality of its objects is given. This is why Paul declares the grace of God to us when he says, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." But, there are some questions that naturally arise from our text. One of those questions has to do with why Jesus, in grace, would, on this occasion, indiscriminately heal and deliver everyone in Capernaum and never do it again. Why did He not enter into every city and heal and deliver all? Why would He do that in Capernaum and then turn us down today when we ask Him to heal someone? Two facts need to stand out in our minds. First, there is not only no indication that the people of Capernaum were "properly motivated", the indication is that they were not. Grace needs this fact to show up as grace. This is Luke's point in telling us the people came as the sun was setting. Second, there is no indication in Scripture or history that Jesus ever did this same thing again. Now, with these two facts in mind, I want to address an issue that this paragraph raises. Many are the deceivers who boldly tell us that healing and deliverance are "standard blessings" for all who trust in Jesus. They often say, "If Jesus did it then and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He will do it today." Why is this a lie?