Who are you offending? Part 4 – Faith in Action

Yahshua and the Paralyzed Man

The account of Yahshua and the paralyzed man is a powerful reminder of the potency of faith in action or living out one’s faith. Luke 5:18-20, 24-26Mark 2:2-5, 9-12, and Matthew 9:2, 6-8 tell of the same historical event. Today we will look at the event shared in the book of Luke. 

18. And, behold, men carrying on a cot a man who was paralyzed. And they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. 

19. And not finding a way through which they might bring him in through the crowd, going up on the housetop, they let him down through the tiles with the cot, into the midst, in front of Yahshua

20. And SEEING THEIR FAITH, He said to him, Man, your sins have been forgiven you.

24. But that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority on the earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralytic, I say to you, Rise up, and take your cot and go to your house. 

25. And rising up at once before them, taking up that on which he was lying, he went to his house glorifying YAHWEH

26. And amazement seized all, and they glorified Elohim, and were filled with fear, saying, We saw wonderful things today.

Luke 5:18-20, 24-26 

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Yahshua’s reputation for teaching and healing had spread far and wide, attracting large crowds wherever he went. One day Yahshua was in a house surrounded by people outside and overflowing within. On this same day, some men brought their paralyzed friend on a cot, hoping to get him healed by Yahshua. The sheer size of the crowd could have easily deterred the man’s friends, yet they refused to be discouraged. The men being persistent, navigated through the immense multitude to the house. However, upon arriving at the house, they discover Yahshua is inaccessible due to the massive amount of people inside. 

Still, the man’s friends unwavering dedication and determination pushed past the impossibility. They ingeniously devised a plan to get their ailing friend to Yahshua and acted on it. The men climbed up the side of the house, got on the roof, and began ripping tiles off the roof, creating a hole. Once the hole was big enough for the cot to fit, they pulled their friend up to the rooftop and lowered him down to Yahshua

After the men lower their paralyzed friend to Yahshua, the Bible presents something interesting about faith. It says that Yahshua SEEING THEIR FAITH (Emunah and Pistis) forgave the man’s sins and later healed him. This event sheds light on what the Apostle Yaʿaqov (James brother of Yahshua) suggested when he said in James 2:18, “I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY DEEDS (actions, behaviors, labor, and works).” Their actions also serve as a reminder that faith without action is dead or empty. James 2:17 eloquently articulates this point, stating that “faith, if it does not have deeds, is dead being by itself.” Let us all be encouraged by the faith of the paralyzed man’s friends and strive to take purposeful steps in our own lives, demonstrating our unwavering belief.

14. My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith, but he does not have deeds? Is the faith able to restore life to him? 

17. So also faith, if it does not have deeds, is dead being by itself. 

18. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have deeds. Show me your faith apart from your deeds, and I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY DEEDS.

James 2:14, 17-18

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

These men demonstrated their strong faith in Yahshua through their actions, which were apparent to Him and others. They were determined to bring their friend to Yahshua without regard for who was watching or who was being offended, even if it meant damaging the homeowner’s roof. While I do not support damaging someone else’s property, I do believe in living out one’s faith regardless of who may be offended.

Heroes of Faith

Hebrews 11 outlines a few historical people in the Bible who were faith heroes. When reading the chapter, you will see they all had behaviors, deeds, works, and actions motivated by Emunah, which showed Pistis (full persuasion).

  • Vs. 4 Abel offered
  • Vs. 5 Enoch pleased
  • Vs. 7 Noah built an ark
  • Vs. 8 Abraham went
  • Vs. 9 Abraham stayed (yes, sometimes staying is an act of faith)
  • Vs. 11 Sarah received (she was open to receiving)
  • Vs. 17 Abraham offered up
  • Vs. 20 Isaac blessed
  • Vs. 21 Jacob blessed and worshiped
  • Vs. 22 Joseph gave instructions
  • Vs. 25 Moses chose
  • Vs. 27 – 29 Moses left, endured, instituted, and crossed
  • Vs. 30 Israelites encircled the walls of Jericho
  • Vs. 31 Rahab received
  • Vs. 32 – 35 Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets who by faith:
    • Overcame kingdoms
    • Worked out righteousness
    • Obtained promises
    • Stopped the mouths of lions
    • Quenched the power of fire
    • Escaped the mouths of the sword
    • Acquired power from weakness
    • Became strong in war
    • Made armies of foreigners to yield
    • Restored to women, their sons
    • Raised people from the dead

Heroes of Faith that Were Persecuted

Living out your faith for all to see can become complicated, especially for those living in countries where it’s illegal to be a believer, pray, or have a Bible. However, Matthew 5:10 promises, “Blessed are they who have been persecuted (victimized, oppressed, afflicted, tortured, murdered) for righteousness’s sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Hebrews 11, verses 35 – 38 outline other fully persuaded people that didn’t gain victory on earth. These folks were persecuted for living out their faith in the ways listed below:

  • Beaten to death
  • Received trial of mocking
  • Scourged (whipped)
  • Chained and Imprisoned
  • Stoned to death
  • Sawed in two
  • Murdered by sword
  • Were given sheepskins and goatskins to wear while being made destitute (without the basic necessities of life)
  • Afflicted
  • Ill-treated
  • Stephen is an excellent example of this found in Acts 6-7.
  • Yahshua is the ultimate example of this (To sin or not to sin, that is the question.

Are you Fully Persuaded for YAH?

Life as a Bible Believing Believer (BBB) has some locked-in requirements set by YAHWEH that automatically set you apart and may even lead to persecution. Spreading the good news and keeping the Sabbath are two examples that are sure to make you stand out. To truly live out your faith, it’s crucial to love Yahshua and obey His commandments (John 14:15). So, are you willing to persevere through persecution for the sake of your faith (persuasion), as exemplified in Hebrew 11:35-38? Would you eagerly preach the good news of salvation like Stephen when faced with certain death? Can you follow in the footsteps of Yahshua and deny yourself even to the torture stake Matthew 16:24? If you answered no to these questions, you may not be as persuaded as you thought. 

Gauge yourself:

  • If you tell your friends, associates, or someone you work with that you are a Believer, would they agree that you are? 
  • If you look at yourself in the mirror, would you say you are a Believer according to the Bible?
  • Does your deeds, works, actions, behavior, and speech magnify your faith, and does it cause others to glorify YAHWEH?

By David Edwards

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