Do you have a favourite bible story, and if you do, I wonder what it might be? Perhaps an Old Testament Story such as Noah and The Ark, or perhaps Joseph and his Multi Coloured Dream Coat, or perhaps the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. Looking at the New Testament stories I wonder what comes to mind for you? Perhaps the birth of Jesus (Christmas) or the death and resurrection of Jesus (Easter) or perhaps one of the many miracles of Jesus, or perhaps one of the stories about the friends of Jesus such as Peter or Paul? There are so many stories there is at least one for every day of the year!
My favourite story is of the paralyzed man whose friends made a hole in the roof (because the crowd was so large they couldn’t get close) and lowered him down on a rope right in front of Jesus. This is my favourite because it was the first story in the bible I read for myself and it helped me see who the real Jesus was…..a man who could really help me in my life. Here is the story:
17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
I hope you enjoyed reading it! At St Peter’s and Blessed Mary we are currently looking at stories of people that Jesus met and dramatically or quietly changed. If you would like to hear about some of these you would be very welcome to come along on a Sunday, or perhaps listen to a service which you can find on our You Tube Channel linked from our website: www.stpeterbw.org.uk
What did Jesus come for? It was to meet people and help them become the human beings God created them to be. Jesus was and is someone who came to transform people in their bodies, minds and souls. Before I would have called myself a Christian, I thought I could change myself, but on reading about Jesus, I realised that I needed someone who had the power to change me: change my mind with the best values for life (his teaching) change my body with a new one when this one wears out and change my soul with forgiveness from all I have ever and will do wrong.
If you want to change, how can you be transformed? The process starts with being forgiven by Jesus which only he can do. And once you are forgiven he promises to change your mind and body.
With my payers for July, and that you might find some time to read some of the stories about Jesus.
Revd James – Rector St Peter’s Bishop’s Waltham and Blessed Mary, Upham
10th June 2021