“God’s Sufficient Grace”
The man in today’s gospel text was healed by Jesus. He was not the only person with physical trouble or illness. There were thousands of people who wanted to be healed. Out of so many sick people, Jesus chose him to show his grace and healed him. The sick man did not deserve the favor. But he did receive grace on that day.
Should we ask, “Why him and not others?” Who are we to ask or question the provision of God’s grace? Has any one who received your blessing ever stopped you and asked, “Why are you doing this to me out of so many people who need your help?” Paul says in Romans, “[God] will have mercy on whom God will have mercy, and compassion on whom God will have compassion.”
The word “grace” has a wide range of meaning. It could mean different things depending on context and situation. It could mean loving-kindness, mercy, delight, favor, affection, sweetness, attractiveness, goodwill, and so on. The Greek word for grace is kharis (χαρις). In the New Testament, “grace” appeared 156 times. It appeared mostly in the epistles, especially in Paul’s letter. Kharis (grace) appeared only a few times in the gospels. In the gospels kharis simply means favor. For example, in Luke 2:52, it says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Kharis or grace is often described as God’s unmerited favor. In its limited sense, kharis (grace) means God’s redemptive grace. But in its general sense, we experience God’s unmerited favor every day in our life. We are what we are because of God’s unmerited favor toward us. Grace is not earned. Grace excludes merit or action. Grace is therefore defined as God’s unmerited favor.
Tezenlo Thong, Pastor
Simpson United Methodist Church