Luke 5:17 ¶ On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
There are always Pharisees at church. What do I mean by Pharisees, those that are there to observe and critique but not to change. They observe the worship, how good it is or how anointed it is, or maybe how loud it is. Then they evaluate the pastor; his preaching, his family, his life and lifestyle. From there they observe the younger Christians and all of their carnal traits and maybe move on to the older crowd and how they are stuck in traditions. Of course they judge the manifestations of God’s presence, Pharisees have little tolerance for anything supernatural. Yep, the Pharisees are always around, here is something Matthew Henry said about that 300 years ago.
“There were Pharisees, and doctors of the law, sitting by; not sitting at his feet, to learn of him; and why might not the word of Christ reach their hearts? But, by what follows, it appears that they were not healed, but caviled at Christ, which compels us to refer this to others, not to them; for they sat by as persons unconcerned, as if the word of Christ were nothing to them. They sat by as spectators, censors, and spies, to pick up something on which to ground a reproach or accusation. How many are there in the midst of our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, that do not sit under the word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent them; they are willing that we should preach before them, not that we should preach to them. Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with him. Give us, Lord, the same kind of faith with respect to thy ability and willingness to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than any earthly blessing, or life itself. Enable us to believe thy power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and go where thou please.”
How can I keep from morphing into a Pharisee? It’s really quite simple. The anointing of the Spirit is a sure cure for phariseeism. The Spirit makes us totally aware of our need for God and our need to change. That really leaves us no time to try sort out everyone else’s issues. In today’s verse, the power of The Lord was present, only the spiritually hungry were even aware of His presence. The power of The Lord is often present in our services. I guess the question we have to answer is this; am I aware of His presence or fixated with fixing others?