Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 9 - Forgiveness Offered
September 26 2011 by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Luke 5:17-26, 29-32

One of my great Christian heroes is Polycarp. Polycarp would eventually become the pastor of Smyrna, appointed by the Apostle John who had mentored Polycarp for years. Polycarp was a humble man, and a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. Although many prominent Christian leaders were targeted for death, Polycarp remained free for many years. But as an elderly 86-year-old saint, the Roman authorities made the execution of Polycarp a priority. Three days before he was to be arrested, however, Polycarp received a message from the Lord that he would be taken away and “burned at the stake.”

Polycarp’s friends wanted to hide him, but Polycarp would have nothing to do with deception. When the soldiers came to Polycarp’s home, Polycarp welcomed his enemies and fed them. His request, which was granted, was that he might pray. According to tradition, he prayed for two hours, resulting in some of the soldiers weeping and asking for forgiveness. A few hours later he was readying himself for his execution. He refused to deny Christ. He would state that he had served Christ for 86 years, and Christ had never let him down.

How could he blaspheme his Savior and King?

Offering and receiving forgiveness for wrongs committed makes us better people. Polycarp learned this truth from John. John learned this truth first-hand from Jesus.

The disciples were able to see forgiveness in action.

As Jesus was teaching in a particular home, the men who wanted their friend healed realized the only way to get the man to Jesus was by letting him down through the roof. These helpers had great faith in Jesus, and they were kind to their friend.

Jesus would heal their friend, but Jesus would also declare that their friend was freed (forgiven) of his sins. A struggle was going on in Jesus’ ministry. While His following was steadily growing, so was the contingent bent on doing Him harm.

Refusing to admit the divine nature of Jesus, these Jewish religious leaders claimed He was a mere man pretending to be God. They were not appreciative of Jesus “forgiving sins.” After healing the man, Jesus went to the home of one of His disciples, Matthew (Levi). Although the scribes and Pharisees were present, Jesus did not back down. Forgiveness, calling sinners to repentance, was His No. 1 mission.
9/26/2011 9:28:00 AM by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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