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How we continue Jesus' mission

March 11, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 5:1-26

During Lent, we are using short videos to share a daily idea (linked to the gospel of Luke) on how to grow spiritually. Watch today’s video. Click here or on the image below:


Note: We are reading the entire gospel of Luke in the GPS. Some day’s readings are longer than usual. We hope you’ll have an extra cup of coffee, or use your lunch break, and read Luke’s entire story of Jesus.

1 One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Gennesaret when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God’s word. 2 Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. 3 Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.”

5 Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.”

6 So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. 7 They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Leave me, Lord, for I’m a sinner!” 9 Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. 10 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, were Simon’s partners and they were amazed too.

Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people.” 11 As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.

12 Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him. 14 Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.” 15 News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. 16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer.

17 One day when Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and legal experts were sitting nearby. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. Now the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal. 18 Some men were bringing a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. They wanted to carry him in and place him before Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they took him up on the roof and lowered him—cot and all—through the roof tiles into the crowded room in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The legal experts and Pharisees began to mutter among themselves, “Who is this who insults God? Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus recognized what they were discussing and responded, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? 23 Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But so that you will know that the Human One [or Son of Man] has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—Jesus now spoke to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, get up, take your cot, and go home.” 25 Right away, the man stood before them, picked up his cot, and went home, praising God.

26 All the people were beside themselves with wonder. Filled with awe, they glorified God, saying, “We’ve seen unimaginable things today.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Luke (likely Paul’s friend, “the dearly loved physician” of Colossians 4:14) listed many of the ills Jesus healed. Awe-inspiring spiritual power was clearly at work in Jesus (verse 26). And because many people in that day saw all illness as a sign of God’s curse, Jesus’ healing powerfully showed God’s forgiveness and love, not just raw power.

  • At Resurrection, we define the spiritual gift of healing as “the divine ability to bring wholeness—physical, emotional or spiritual—to others.” * Do Luke’s stories suggest that Jesus healed in all of these ways? In which way(s) do you most need healing? How can you more fully open yourself to Jesus’ healing power?
  • Sadly, many religious leaders watched Jesus with a critical spirit (verses 17-21). They didn’t like him helping “sinners.” Scholar Hans Küng wrote, “The Church must always dissociate itself from sin, but it can never have any excuse for keeping any sinner at a distance.” ** Are you fully aware that only a church that, like Jesus, welcomes “sinners” can truly welcome you?

Click here to incorporate music and worship from the COR Worship Collective into your daily practice and devotion.


Lord Jesus, thank you for offering me your healing, restorative power. Guard my heart against ever thinking I am “too good” to associate with any of your beloved children. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller is Director of Student Ministries at Resurrection Overland Park. A Kansas native, she has been a professional actress for the past 15 years, and she loves to see the vastness of God’s creation through theatre and the arts. Leah is pursuing an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology. Leah, Brian, and their two children love to play tennis, golf, soccer, and board games.

“Are you fully aware that only a church that, like Jesus, welcomes ‘sinners’ can truly welcome you?”

This is a powerful question posed in our GPS today. It’s layered. Are you “fully” aware? This requires more than scholarly knowledge. It requires a lived experience of that knowledge. Jesus welcomes sinners, which means he welcomes you. Does your church, small group or spiritual community welcome sinners? Do you? And when you picture a “sinner” do you picture yourself?

In recent years, whenever reading a Scripture passage referring to Pharisees (like we’re reading today) I place myself in their shoes. Because really, we’re not that different. They are certainly not the enemy–they are just misguided. I too have been misguided in my life. Perhaps you can relate. Participating in this practice helps me to not create the “us/them” narrative. It also helps me hold myself to the same set of standards I expect from those around me.

Do I, like the Pharisees, have issues with the different ways God welcomes, forgives and heals all people, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well? Would I say “yes” if God asked me to help in the healing process of those I carry judgments toward? I’d like to say yes, absolutely I would. But I’m reminded of the way I ignore nudges to forgive those who’ve hurt me. And in doing so I’m stalling the way God is wanting to heal me.

When I read this passage I love how Jesus encountered each miracle with a different vibe for different types of people. And yet the purpose was the same for all of them, to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of each individual. Because we are all sinners, every last Pharisee, fisherman, disabled and diseased person. And we’re all in need of a healer. Are we ready to welcome the miracles? From one healing sinner to another, I hope so.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile, Serving from the Heart: Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011, p. 42.

** Hans Küng, On Being a Christian. New York: Doubleday, 1976, p. 507.