Hope vs Condemnation

“And when he saw their faith, he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"”
Luke 5:20-21 ESV

Luke chapter 5 confronts us with a story contrasting the faith and tender mercy of a few friends with the unbelief and cold indifference of the pharisees. When Jesus forgave the sins of the cripple lowered from the roof into his presence, two different reactions transpired. The great joy of the cripple's friends was nearly equalled by the disgust of the pharisees.

  Powerfully illustrated in this story is the fact that faith in Jesus and a merciful spirit are inseparable. Likewise a lack of faith in Jesus and an unmerciful attitude of condemnation also go hand in hand. If our attitude towards others is not characterized by mercy, we are not walking by faith.

When we rush through our days without a consciousness of God's heart toward sinners we grow cold and harsh. Faith is built upon the knowledge of God's tender regard for sinners. When we have been with Jesus, the light of the Father's patient love colors the way we see people. Like the cripple's friends may our influence be one which inspires hope and draws others to faith in Christ.

Still Seeking His Face,
Pastor Andrew

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