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The Holy One of God

The Holy One of God

Luke 5:1-32

Main Idea: Holiness in Christ is surprisingly more powerful than we think.

  1. Jesus Has a Holiness That Exposes Us to Ourselves (5:1-11).
  2. Jesus Has a Holiness That Cleanses Us before God (5:12-16).
  3. Jesus Has a Holiness That Legitimately Forgives Sin (5:17-26).
  4. Jesus Has a Holiness That Calls Sinners to Repentance (5:27-32).

When you think of “holiness,” what comes to mind? For many people images of a Buddhist monk come to mind—perhaps a clean-shaven man, dressed in robes, a kind smile, devout in religious activity. Maybe you think of Mahatma Gandhi—clothed in a robe, slightly bent, a little wasted away from fasting or protesting. Or perhaps you don’t think of a person but a particular posture. The holy person is a person separated from everything that is unclean, morally wrong, and displeasing to God. The holy person may be known by the things from which they abstain or reject. In their abstinence from what is unclean and polluted, we come to regard them as holy.

What if another kind of holiness exists? What if we defined holiness not so much by what it avoids or by its religious activity and habits? What if there exists a holiness that is both transcendent and transformative? Suppose there is a holiness that makes contact with the world and by that contact transforms the world.

Recall the profession of one of the demons in Luke 4. On seeing Jesus it cried out, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God! (v. 4; emphasis added). We want to know the Lord Jesus as “the Holy One of God” in his surprising, transformative holiness.

Jesus Has a Holiness That Exposes Us to Ourselves

Luke 5:1-11

Our text begins with a fishing story. It’s not the kind of tall-tale fishing story men usually tell. You know, “It was this big!” Have you ever noticed that in those kinds of fishing stories the fisherman is always alone, nobody is there to see it, the fish gets bigger with each telling, and the fish always gets away?

This story in Luke’s Gospel is not like those tall tales. Here’s how it happened: “The crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word” (v. 1). Keep your eyes on the crowd as we go through this chapter. They came so close the Lord had to leave the shore and teach them from a boat (vv. 2-3). After the teaching the Lord asked Peter to “put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (v. 4). I imagine there was a cool poise in the Lord’s voice, like it was nothing. Maybe there was a knowing twinkle in his eyes.

Peter’s attitude is typical when we think a rookie is telling us how to do our business, isn’t it (v. 5)? Peter is the experienced fisherman; Jesus is a handyman. Peter has been out all night; Jesus just got into the boat. Peter has not caught anything all night; Jesus thinks he knows the fish are biting. Peter is the one who has to row even though he is tired from working all night; Jesus sits in the stern of the boat. So you can imagine Peter’s attitude. But Jesus is the rabbi, so Peter is going to humor him. He says, “If you say so, I’ll let down the nets.” Peter is basically passive-aggressive with a hint of self-righteousness.

Peter did not expect what we see in verses 6-7. They landed two boats full of fish, and they were sinking! Peter, James, and John were experienced fishermen, but they had never seen anything like this! They were all “amazed” (v. 9).

Something deeper happens to Peter. Something more profound enters his mind. When Jesus does this miracle, Peter glimpsed the Lord’s glory and holiness. In the light of Jesus’s holiness, Peter sees his own heart (v. 8). What about this miracle would cause Peter to fall before Jesus, confessing his sin? In this miracle Peter receives a glimpse of the glory, majesty, and holiness of Jesus Christ. Peter reminds us of the prophet Isaiah:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies;

his glory fills the whole earth.

The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said:

Woe is me for I am ruined

because I am a man of unclean lips

and live among a people of unclean lips,

and because my eyes have seen the King,

the Lord of Armies. (Isa 6:1-5)

Seeing God in his holiness makes us aware of our sinfulness. John Calvin wrote in The Institutes of Christian Religion, “Man never attains to a true knowledge of himself until he has contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself” (37). That’s what happens to Peter. He glimpses the face of God in Jesus Christ, and from that vision he comes down to see into himself. He finds in himself what we all find in ourselves: sin. Because he knows such a holy being as God should not be around a sinful man, Peter cries out, “Go away from me!” (v. 8).

Uniquely, here is a holiness that comes to sinners. Rather than going away, Jesus says, “Join me.” Here is a holiness that uses a confessing sinner in its mission. Here is holiness that not only calls the sinner but commissions the sinner to become a fisher of men. Here is holiness so stunningly beautiful it causes a man to leave everything for its sake. It gives the former sinner a new purpose, direction, and call.

This is good news for us today. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So we all deserve God going away from us. In fact, that is what hell is—the withdrawal of God’s loving, kind presence from us. We all deserve hell because of our sin. It is the acknowledgement of our sinfulness that begins the goodness of the good news. For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God sent his Son to call us into his Son’s holiness, where there is purpose and righteousness. We only need one thing to come to this holy Lord: to confess we are sinners and repent like Peter.

Jesus Has a Holiness That Cleanses Us before God

Luke 5:12-16

It is one thing to expose our sin. It is quite another to make us clean in God’s presence. What hope would there be if we only were brought to the knowledge of our sin? We need something or someone who cleanses us before God.

There are two eye-catching things in verse 12. First, the man has “leprosy all over him.” “Leprosy” is any one of a number of skin diseases. It sometimes results in open sores and can be contagious. This man was covered with it. Second, this man was in a town around a lot of people. According to the law of God, he should have been quarantined outside the city or camp. He was to be treated as unclean before God. Leviticus 13:1-3 reads,

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: “When a person has a swelling, scab, or spot on the skin of his body, and it may be a serious disease on the skin of his body, he is to be brought to the priest Aaron or to one of his sons, the priests. The priest will examine the sore on the skin of his body. If the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is in fact a serious skin disease. After the priest examines him, he must pronounce him unclean.”

To be pronounced “unclean” meant a leper could not worship God. Leviticus 13:12-15 continues,

But if the skin disease breaks out all over the skin so that it covers all the skin of the stricken person from his head to his feet so far as the priest can see, the priest will look, and if the skin disease has covered his entire body, he is to pronounce the stricken person clean. Since he has turned totally white, he is clean. But whenever raw flesh appears on him, he will be unclean. When the priest examines the raw flesh, he must pronounce him unclean. Raw flesh is unclean; this is a serious skin disease.

Our man in Luke 5 was “full of leprosy.” He was likely “raw” from head to foot. So not only was he unclean; he was probably in constant pain and soreness. Leviticus 13:45-46 tells us how a leper was to act and be treated:

The person who has a case of serious skin disease is to have his clothes torn and his hair hanging loose, and he must cover his mouth and cry out, “Unclean, unclean!” He will remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.

The leprous man suffered a terrible condition. He suffered physical pain and social isolation. For as long as he had the disease, he was effectively shunned. He was cut off from God in worship and from Israel in community. He carried a heavy stigma because of his disease.

According to Leviticus 14, before a leprous person could be brought back into society, two things were necessary. First, the priest had to examine him to confirm the leprosy was clear. If so, the person would be considered clean again. Second, the man had to present an offering as atonement for sin. The priest would take the blood of the sacrifice and rub it on the right ear lobe, the right thumb, and the big toe of the right foot to symbolize his sin being atoned for or covered by the blood of the sacrifice. Then the leper could return to Israelite society.

The law and the priest could not make a man clean. They could only determine and declare whether he was clean or not. They had no remedy or power to change a person’s standing before God. Atonement was necessary.

Here comes this man full of leprosy to Jesus in Luke 5. No one can touch him without becoming unclean and cut off from worship. To touch a leper was effectively to become a leper. The leprous man fell on his face and begged Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (v. 12). It is not clear how he knew this about Jesus. He casts himself on God when he says, “Lord, if you are willing,” and shows faith in Jesus’s power when he says, “You can make me clean.”

Here’s the wonder about the holiness of Jesus. First, Jesus actually touches the unclean (v. 13). You can imagine the Jewish crowd holding its breath, leaning back, and inside screaming out, “Nooooo! Don’t touch him! He will defile you!” But our Lord affirmed this man’s humanity as he touched him. Second, Jesus healed him. Right away the leprosy departed! The Lord sent the man to the priests to keep the requirements of the law and prove he was now clean (v. 14).

Jesus possesses a holiness that is not defiled by touching the unclean, but with a touch he cleanses the unclean. Jesus possesses a holiness that produces what the law requires but cannot produce. “Sanctity [or holiness] is stronger than the whole of hell” (Merton, Seven Storey, 256).

Who do we think of as “unclean”? This is an important question for us Christians to ask ourselves. The church has a Savior who cleanses the unclean, yet the church has a history of rejecting the unclean.

The church regarded persons with AIDS as unclean during the early days of that disease. Many Christians have thought of persons with same-sex desires as unclean. Drug addicts and drug sellers may get tagged with that label and stigma. Perhaps we view prostitutes, alcoholics, or the homeless as lepers in our day. We must reconsider whether we should regard people as unclean—especially if we are tempted to withdraw from them, for Jesus has a holiness that is not defiled by uncleanness, but a holiness that cleanses by his touch!

We, in Christ, filled with his Spirit, can and should be around the “unclean” so we can tell them there is a way to be made clean before God. That way to cleanness is calling on the Lord to make them clean. He wills to do it for his people.

I believe the Lord wants us in our mission to our neighborhoods to have a special concern and love for the “unclean.” That requires us to rethink our stigmas and attitudes. It requires us to rethink what makes a person clean. Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 that “it’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth—this defiles a person.” It is the heart that defiles a person. Consequently, we cannot be defiled by our neighbors’ actions. Christ has given us new hearts with his law written on them. With our new hearts and the gift of righteousness before God by faith in Christ, let us go to our neighbors and tell them that Christ cleanses sinners before God. We want to avoid the “holy huddle.” We don’t want to be plastic Christians. We want to feel ourselves thrust into the world with this good news, in full confidence that the Savior will cleanse everyone he touches through the gospel.

Jesus Has a Holiness That Legitimately Forgives Sin

Luke 5:17-26

When we think of holiness, we rightly think of its incompatibility with sin. We are right to see that light and darkness do not mix; light chases away darkness.

Sometimes we go a step further. We think of the light hating darkness. We may think light crushes darkness. What if light does something else to darkness? What if holiness does something else to our sin?

The third scene is one of my favorite events in the Bible. It begins in verse 17, some days after Jesus cleanses the leper. The Lord is now teaching Pharisees and teachers of the law, or scribes. These are the “holy men” of Israel who lead Israel religiously. They’ve come from everywhere—even Jerusalem—to hear Jesus speak.

Luke gives us this juicy detail: “And the Lord’s power to heal was in him” (v. 17). There’s an extraordinary power with Jesus that day. We might call it an unction or anointing.

There is also an extraordinary demonstration of faith about to happen (vv. 18-19). I love this scene. Many people today get upset if someone spills a little something on their carpet or favorite tablecloth. Can you imagine someone coming through the roof of your house making a hole big enough to let a paralyzed grown man through? State Farm ain’t covering that! Can you imagine the homeowner’s reaction?

The act of letting their friend down through the roof was an unusual demonstration of faith. We know this because of what Jesus says next. “Seeing their faith he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven’” (v. 20). That stuns me. Jesus says nothing about the man’s legs or paralysis. He focused on the man’s soul. He forgives the man’s sins. Listen, you can be paralyzed, unable to get around without your friends, lying motionless on your sickbed, and yet still be full of sin!

See how Jesus thinks. Our main need is not physical healing. Our main need is spiritual forgiveness. That why Jesus says things like,

If your hand or your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. (Matt 18:8)

Better to limp into heaven than run into hell! Paralysis is nothing compared to God’s punishment. Our main need is spiritual forgiveness. So Jesus forgives the man’s sin.

An Objection

The scribes and Pharisees, the “holy men” of Israel, have a theological objection (v. 21). They say that Jesus blasphemes by claiming to do what only God can do. They have a proper theology of forgiveness—only God can ultimately forgive sins. That theology is correct as far as it goes. But they do not know God. They do not recognize the day of their visitation.

What they get wrong is not their assumption about God forgiving sin. What they get wrong is their assumption that Jesus is not God.

An Object Lesson

Pause for a moment. If you were Jesus, how would you answer their objection? Some few of us would call down thunder and lightning. It is good we are not Jesus. Most of us would likely give an argument of some sort. We would correct their theology with the use of words.

But that is not what Jesus does. In verses 22-24 our Lord responds to their objection with an object lesson, a parable by way of a miracle. He first raises the stakes in verse 23 with the question, “Which is easier . . . ?” It is easy for people to walk around just saying things like, “Your sins are forgiven.” Anyone can do that. But then, so there is no argument about mere words, the Lord decides to visibly demonstrate that he is God who legitimately forgives sin. He proves that by doing the harder thing. He turns to the paralyzed man and says, “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home” (v. 24). Immediately the paralyzed man obeys and begins to walk!

The phrase I tell you is emphatic. It stresses that Jesus is doing this miracle in his own authority. The religious leaders stumble at the notion that Jesus can do what God does in forgiving sin. The Lord essentially says, I will prove to you that I’m God by this miracle. Verse 25 provides miraculous proof that the Holy One of God can, in fact, do just that. The point was not ultimately the man miraculously walking but the Son forgiving sins.

In his holiness Christ does not chase away our sin. Nor does the Savior crush the sinner. The Lord of love does not hate the sinner. Instead, our Holy Lord forgives the sinner. Forgiveness is one of the holiest acts of all.

Look at the people’s reaction in verse 26. Do you know what I find extraordinary? They watched Jesus forgive a man’s sin. Then they watched Jesus prove he could forgive sin by healing a paralyzed man. But not one of them then said to Jesus, “Since you can forgive sins, please forgive my sins, too!” They experienced general amazement and gave general praise to God, but they did not worship Jesus or seek forgiveness for their sin. That is amazing and tragic. Having eyes, they do not see. Having ears, they do not hear.

How often in our day is the gospel preached and sinners will not hear? How often do people say, “We heard a good sermon today,” but no one says, “Forgive me my sins, Lord”?

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He lived in our flesh to offer God the righteous obedience we owed. He died in our place as an offering to satisfy the wrath of God against our sin. God raised him from the grave to prove his sacrifice was accepted. Now God calls men everywhere to repent of their sin and seek his forgiveness by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. All God requires is that we admit our sin and trust in Jesus. How often do men tragically turn away!

Beloved, I don’t know what condition you are in. I don’t know if you’re a Christian with full assurance of faith who continually flees to Christ, if you’ve never heard that Jesus saves the unclean and the sinner, or if you’ve heard the message before and not yet believed. Oh, do not make the mistake of these persons in the Bible. Do not go away having heard the word of life only to leave it unaccepted. Today is the day of salvation. Do not harden your hearts. Confess your sins like Peter. Call on Jesus to cleanse you of your sin like the leper. Believe in Jesus and be saved.

Jesus makes things clear. He does not multiply words. He doesn’t give verbal proofs. He does the harder thing, the greater thing. He demonstrates that he is the God who forgives sins—even a holy God who forgives sins.

Applications

There are at least three applications we could make based on this text. First, vague notions of “God” and even being in “awe” of God are not the same thing as knowing God. These Jewish religious leaders have a good general theology, but they do not know Jesus. We meet people all the time who say, “I believe in God,” but when you examine the claim you find their understanding of God is murky and misty, and they do not know Jesus. John 17:3 tells us eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.

Second, vague worship of God is not the same as worshiping God the way he requires us. It is God who determines what is satisfactory worship from his followers. From accepting Abel’s offering and rejecting Cain’s, to the detailed law of the Old Testament, to his seeking those who will worship him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), God determines what worship pleases him and what does not.

Third, when people are confused about the true God and Jesus Christ, when gospel clarity is at stake, the proper response is plain statement of the truth (2 Cor 4:2). Our Lord does that here. The apostles leave us the same example. Since we live in a society increasingly confused about almost everything, it’s important that Christians speak plainly and simply about the truth.

When we get to know Jesus as the Holy One of God, his holiness exposes our sin to us, cleanses us before God, and brings forgiveness of sin.

Jesus Has a Holiness That Calls Sinners to Repentance

Luke 5:27-32

Verse 27 begins with “after this.” After the “holy men” failed to ask for forgiveness, Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi. In Jesus’s day tax collectors were known sinners. They had a reputation for cheating people on their taxes. And remember for whom they collected taxes: Rome. So they were seen as oppressors of their own nation. People generally despised tax collectors.

Jesus sees Levi and calls Levi to follow him, to become one of his disciples. Levi does exactly that. Like Peter, Levi immediately leaves everything and follows Jesus (v. 28). Levi’s response illustrates true repentance and entrance into discipleship.

When a man finds acceptance with the Lord, he naturally wants to celebrate. A person who finds acceptance with God wants his friends to find in Jesus what he found. So Levi throws a dinner party for “a large crowd of tax collectors and others” with Jesus as the featured guest (v. 29). Apparently Levi tries to reach his friends, and Jesus is willing to hang out with them.

But the Pharisees and scribes continue grumbling (v. 30). They apparently think eating with sinners is “unclean.” They hold an idea of holiness that requires total separation from sinners. Also, they apparently think they themselves are not sinners! They ought to take a place at the table as sinners needing to be with Christ, but they remain blind to their own condition before God.

Religious people often struggle to know how to engage sinners. We ask, “Is it okay to go out with them after work? Can we go to their weddings? Can we have a drink with them? What about the club?” Those questions come from a good, godly concern for holiness and for Christian witness.

Our Lord’s activities challenge our notions of holiness. If we think of holiness only or primarily as separation, we end up isolating ourselves from the very people we hope to reach. We find ourselves at odds with Jesus’s example here. And we find ourselves attempting something the Bible actually says is impossible. Do you remember how the Bible addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13?

The apostle Paul notes,

I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. (Emphasis added.)

If we aim to separate ourselves completely from sinners, where will we go? We would have to start a colony on the moon—a colony of one because some other sinners are coming! To be holy by having no contact with sinners means we “would have to leave the world.”

Then Paul continues,

But actually, I wrote you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister and is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? God judges outsiders. Remove the evil person from among you. (1 Cor 5:11-13)

Do you see how the Bible says our instinct is upside down? The Christian church has too often been afraid to engage the lost world of sinners outside while being complacent about unrepentant sin on the inside! The Bible says to be concerned about “anyone who claims to be a brother or sister” but lives an unrepentant, immoral life. With that one, do not even eat; put him out of your fellowship. Practice church discipline. But regarding the outsiders, go to them; eat with them; drink with them, that you might be able to reach them. We cannot reach people with whom we have no contact.

Keep in mind the Lord’s purpose in Luke 5. “Jesus replied to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (vv. 31-32; emphasis added).

We cannot call people to repentance if we are never with them. We cannot reach sinners without going where sinners are. They are not likely to come where we are. They find our parties boring. They find our fun boring. That’s okay. We expect them to. They have tastes for this world, while we have tastes for heaven. Those differing tastes are not easily joined together, so it creates a burden for us to cross a bridge to reach them without adopting their tastes.

That is what the Lord does here. The Lord Jesus attends Levi’s party with the spiritual well-being of sinners in mind. The Lord does not sin with them; rather, he seeks to save them. We must follow his example while also remembering that we are not the Savior. We do not possess the Lord’s invincible purity, so we need some safeguards:

  1. Know your limits and temptations as you go into the world. If you are easily tempted with alcohol, you do not need to go with colleagues to the bar after work. You should avoid that setting. Give no room to the devil or make provision for the flesh. That means being honest about our temptations and the sins that so easily beset us.
  2. Keep a redemptive purpose or goal in mind as you go into the world. We are not going into the world simply to hang out with the world. Sometimes Christians boast of their worldliness. That is immaturity and a bad example. We go not to boast of how liberal we are with the world but to seek their spiritual benefit and salvation.
  3. Remember that Christ is our holiness (1 Cor 1:30). Colossians 2 tells us that multiplying rules is powerless to subdue the flesh. That kind of asceticism does not produce righteousness but produces hypocrites and Pharisees. Rather, we go into the world trying to fully embody life in Christ. We go declaring it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us (Gal 2:20). We go into those places and relationships with our hearts stocked with God’s Word, hoping to insert it into conversations wherever we can.

The Lord Jesus has a preference among people. The Lord prefers those who know they are sick with sin. The righteous, those who think of themselves as “well,” do not see their need of the Great Physician. In their self-righteousness they are blind. They imagine themselves to be good enough or holy enough for God to accept them like they are. Because they trust themselves, there is no room in their hearts to trust God’s Son. Offer them salvation through faith in Christ and they say, “No, I’m good.”

John Calvin rightly observed,

Such is our innate pride, we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also—He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. (Institutes, 37)

The sick know they need the Lord’s healing. The sick are closer to the kingdom of heaven. All they need in order to receive the kingdom of God is to hear the call to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a call especially for sinners. The greater the sinner, the greater the Savior.

Conclusion

As we close, consider what this text lays out before us. We get to know the holiness of Christ the Lord. It’s a holiness that exposes our sin. It’s a holiness that cleanses us before God. It’s a holiness that legitimately forgives sin. It’s a holiness especially for sinners who know their sinful state.

As we get to know Jesus in this passage, we learn something about how to respond to him. We should, like Peter, confess our sin. We should, like the leper, cry out to God to be made clean. We should, like the paralyzed man and his friends, put our faith in the Lord. We should, like Levi and the tax collectors, repent of our sin.

Notice something about the mass of people, the crowds in our text. The crowd presses in on the Lord so much they make it hard for him to carry on his ministry (v. 1). They make it hard for the paralyzed man and his friends to get to him. The crowds in Levi’s house are amazed at the miracle but later grumble about Jesus. The crowds grumble about the Savior seeking to save sinners. Beloved, rarely do the crowds know the Lord or do the Lord’s will. Rarely do crowds know the mind of the Lord. Rarely do the crowds follow Jesus.

So don’t follow the crowd. Even if you must do it alone, drop everything and follow the Lord. If we would have eternal life in God’s kingdom, we have to follow the one who knows the path to the kingdom. We have to forget the crowds and sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Today is the day of salvation. Today the Lord calls sinners to repent. Forget about everyone else. Think of your own sins. Do you not need to be forgiven? Do you not need to be cleansed? If so, then you need to believe in Jesus and follow him as your Lord. Do it today. Decide to follow Jesus. Do not turn back.

Reflect and Discuss

  1. What do you think of when you think of holiness?
  2. Consider Isaiah 6:1-5. What is the effect on us when we glimpse God’s glory? Can you think of other biblical examples?
  3. What hope would there be if God’s holiness only exposed our sin?
  4. Who do you think are the lepers and the unclean in our society today? What hope does Jesus offer them?
  5. If you were talking with someone who said they feel unclean before God, what things about Jesus would you share with them? What aspect of his character or what story from the Gospels would you share with them?
  6. Do you think there is a difference between truly knowing God through Jesus Christ and having a general belief in God? Why or why not?
  7. Who gets to decide how God is worshiped? In what ways does our answer to that question affect our relationship with God?
  8. In Luke 5:1-32 we see Jesus interacting with sinners in various settings. In what ways should Christians follow the Lord’s example? In what ways or in what circumstances should Christians not follow this example?
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