Day 223 – “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Today’s reading: Luke 5:1-26

In today’s reading, Jesus puts out onto the sea after teaching the crowds.  Having spent the night working and caught nothing Peter is against the idea but he follows the Lord’s instructions.  This in itself is a great lesson for us.  Sometimes following the will of the Lord will be contrary to our experience and the evidence.  After the nets are cast, the haul of fish is so great that they need a second boat to bring in the catch.  Seeing the miracle, Peter falls to his knees and says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  This is a great profession of faith and humility.  Peter recognizes his own sinfulness and realizes that he is not worthy to be in the presence of the Lord.  This is a line of scripture that everyone should recite in prayer often.

The other scene we read today is the famous incident where a paralytic is lowered through the roof of a building to get him in front of Jesus.  What Jesus says when this happens in remarkable:

… when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:20

Notice, it is not the faith or the paralytic that saves him but the faith of his friends.  Even if you read the passage as it being the faith of the paralytic and his friends, it is clear that the faith of his friends contributes to the salvation of the paralytic.  This is another example that it is not our faith alone that saves us.  Clearly, the faith of the people that bring us to Christ contributes to our salvation.  That makes perfect sense.  As a practical matter, no one comes to faith completely on their own.  It is always other people that expose us to the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ.  It is the faith or other people who evangelize us, that always in some way contributes to our salvation.

Tomorrow: Luke 5:27-39

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