We’re right in the middle of our latest sermon series called “YES”, where each week we’re asking a question. The big question this week:
CAN MY GROUP SET SOMEONE FREE?
There is power in community—in grouping together as children of God. This life isn’t meant to be lived out in individual assignment. It’s a group project. We are created to live life together. That’s where freedom and healing comes from. There’s definitely a time and place for seeking God individually, but our growth, freedom, and breakthrough lies in the people around us.
James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Every week we have a lot of people sitting in seats who are forgiven because they’ve asked Jesus to come into their lives—but they’re not free. Their lives don’t seem to be getting better, or they’re still addicted to things, or still struggling in their relationships. This is because our forgiveness comes from God through Jesus, but healing and freedom comes from God through people.
Luke 5:17-26 tells the story of a crippled man and his group of friends. When Jesus came to preach at a home in their village, these men had the faith to believe Jesus could heal their lame friend if only they could bring him to Jesus. The only problem: the crowds surround the house Jesus was preaching from were so large that the men couldn’t get anywhere near the door. And so they did something ridiculously insane and carried their crippled friend up to the roof, cut a hole in the roof, and lowered him straight down to Jesus. Jesus saw the lame man, but then saw the faith of his friends, and healed the man immediately. Right here we see the power of community.
There are three takeaways from this story:
1. When we group, God shows up. “The power of the Lord was there to heal them” (Luke 5:17b). God certainly can show up in your own life, like when you’re alone in your car or at your house, but He guarantees to show up in a group of people gathered together in His name. If you want to see God work in your life, gather, get with friends, and watch what He will do.
2. Your faith helps others experience Jesus. Faith must turn into action. In Luke 5:19-20, the faith and action of the lame man’s friends is what Jesus responded to when He healed the man. When we put our faith into action, it gets the attention of God. This is huge because there are people in our lives who need our faith.
3. As God works in your group, His glory is shown to those not yet in a group. The crowds saw Jesus heal the lame man, saw His heart, His power, and His character, they praised God (Luke 5:24b-26). When the church acts the way it’s supposed to act—when it loves people and puts its faith to action—it glorifies God.
At the end of this story, after Jesus had healed the lame man, He told him to pick up his mat as he left. This tiny bit at the end is crucial. Jesus wants us to be healed, but then He wants us to carry our story so others can see what He has done—because the world will take notice.
The answer to this week’s question, then, is a resounding YES. My small group absolutely can set someone free.
Watch Ps Josh’s full message here.