Nov 2, 2020 2256
The grace I need in my life is breakthrough grace. It’s the kind of grace that breaks through every obstacle and barrier to reach me and bring me blessing. And it’s the kind of grace that surpasses all expectations. It’s the grace of Jesus.
This kind of grace is beautifully illustrated in the story recounted in Luke 5. Jesus was teaching in a crowded house. Some men came carrying a paralysed man on a mat, and tried to take him into the house to bring him to Jesus. But the crowd was so thick that they couldn’t get in. So they climbed up onto the roof with their friend, broke through the roof, and lowered him down through the hole, right in front of Jesus.
These men showed breakthrough grace for their friend when they broke through the roof to bring him to Jesus. Not only did they go to the trouble of climbing onto the roof, but they were so concerned for their friend that they didn’t think twice about breaking through the roof to help him get to Jesus. They not only broke through the roof, they broke through every social convention! They were determined not to let anything stand in the way of their friend having the opportunity to be blessed by Jesus!
However, this isn’t the greatest example of breakthrough grace in the story. Because this story is only beginning! The Bible says that,
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven (Luke 5:20, NIV).
God’s grace breaks through.
It was obvious that his friends had brought this man to Jesus so that his legs might be healed. But Jesus doesn’t do that up-front. Instead, he astonishingly tells him that sins are forgiven. Jesus went right to the heart, the root of this man’s problem. Even more than having his legs fixed, he needed his sins to be forgiven! You see, there is evil in the world, together because of physical illnesses and lame legs, because sin has come into the world. And Jesus breaks through all the issues and goes to the heart of the matter.
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law started complaining
“Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? (v.21).
Jesus continues speaking to them, to help create for them a breakthrough in their thinking, so that they might see and understand that he himself, the one forgiving the sins, is God. His grace breaks through.
In this story we see the breakthrough grace of God at many levels.
The grace of God smashes through every barrier.
Think about your own life, and reflect on how the grace of God has broken through seemingly impossible barriers to reach you and bless your life. When I reflect on my life, I think about my legalistic upbringing in which I grew up with a distorted and even dangerous view of God, I think of the darkness and shame from God has had to reach me, I think of the brokenness of my relationships, and I think of how all of these things at one time or another seemed barriers that made it seem impossible for me to ever reach God. But he reached me.
Yes, the grace of God can be experienced as a slow and gentle peace But to only see that aspect of his grace that does a disservice to the passion of God’s heart for the lost. The grace of God smashes through every barrier and smashes every stronghold in your heart that stands between the love of Christ and you.
That’s why I’m here today, and that’s why you’re here today too.