Pick Up And Go

Our theme this week is “Jesus is forgiving.”

Years ago, my Bible study class agreed that it would be nice to visit a hospitalized friend that week. Somebody pointed out that we had time to go do it right that moment and still return in time for worship. So we did. We left the church campus during our Bible study because it seemed like God wanted us to. The look on our sick friend’s face when we walked in and announced we’d relocated our Bible study to his hospital room was evidence we made the right decision. Sometimes you don’t need a plan; you just need to act.

Our passage this week includes the story of the men who lowered their paralyzed friend through a roof to meet Jesus face to face. 

“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” - He told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” (Luke 5:23-24 HCSB)

As we can imagine, the healed and forgiven man did exactly what Jesus commanded:

Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:25 HCSB)

My perception is that after the man left, everybody else at least milled around for a few minutes discussing what just happened. Maybe Jesus even finished whatever He was teaching before the interruption. But the healed man was gone, sent on his way by Jesus Himself. Did Jesus not have anything else to teach him? My thinking is that sometimes Jesus wants us to sit, study, and learn, and sometimes He wants us to go and act.

Have I ever been reading my Bible, praying, or listening to a sermon and stopped right in the middle because I felt God’s clear call to act immediately? I’m for sure not saying we should all regularly be leaving worship services early, but don’t you think that sometimes God may want us to simply stop what we’re doing, like right this very moment, pick up our mat, and go?

Is there a friend you need to email, text, or call right now? Pick up your mat, or phone, and go!

By Mark Stuart

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