A Two Gentlemen's Encounter with Jesus

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Sin Damages People

When this man was in the temple, Jesus met him once again. Jesus spoke to him words that are very revealing. He said to him, "See you are well again; stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.

So we seem to understand that this paralysis was caused by some kind of sin. I have seen this truth that when sin is in a life, it damages people, it disfigures people, it distorts people. When sin is in a life, the Bible tells me that it brings death. When sin is in a life, it brings paralysis.

As the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, I have been heading a Christian congregation of around 11 Million people and I have been in places where sin has literally paralysed believers because they have allowed sin to come in.  And when you allow sin to come in, then conflicts also will come in.

Over the tenure of my time when I was the Archbishop, I had to listen to conflicts where people were fighting each other in the name of Jesus Christ.

I went to Kisoro down in Muhabura in South Western Uganda. In this particular time, I went there with my bishops. They were 13 of them. We flew over all their problems because they used to put a barricade for us. There would be a big long convoy of people to lead us there. This time we flew over them and we got to the airstrip.  They were waiting for us there.

Two opposing groups of believers were there and they were all singing, "Tukute-tendereza Yesu, Yesu Olimwana gw'endiga..." For some of you who may not know it, this is a revival song. So there is a group of revivalists singing here, and there is a group of revivalists singing there and there was only enmity against each other and no peace whatsoever between them. 

As I walked to the cathedral, they gave me a salute as the Archbishop. There were two men standing in front of me and these two men were opponents from each of the two groups that were fighting each other. 

One of these men spoke to the other and told him that, "You are not going to go into that cathedral because he is not your Archbishop. This other guy also replied him and said, "If I am not going, then you are also not going in there because he is not your Archbishop" And before I knew it, this man was beating his own brother in the Lord with a stick. In front of me to see? 
My chaplain told me, "your grace, let's walk away from here."  When we walked away, they stopped fighting and started blaming each other for not allowing me to go inside the cathedral.

And in another incident,  I had also been in a situation when a man after I had preached and called for repentance and people came crying to repent. But there was this man who got up, he said to me, "Your Grace, I am a veteran from the army, but now I have decided to go back to the army and I want to get a gun to come and kill the retired bishop." He is in the cathedral willing and ready to kill a servant of God!

Sin brings conflict, division, hatred, anger, pain and death. It does so. And you notice that when these things are there, this paralysis come into Christians.  And people who should have been otherwise joyfully praising God together to face together the arch-enemy the devil, now become each other's enemies and begin fighting one another.

Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.

At the time of healing this paralysed man, this man did not know that it was Jesus who had healed him. But when they met again in the temple, he this time knew that it was Jesus who had healed him and he went to the Jewish authorities and told them that it was Jesus who made him well.  

Jesus Christ, I know is the one you are pursuing in your studies while you are here at African Bible University. Do you know him deeply before you go out there? The people out there need Christ. They need Him. They need the living Christ in your words, in your life and in your action.  

Take a Bachelors Degree and go out with it. That is one good thing. But they want the proof of your academic Degree in the way you live your life, in the way you speak and in the way you serve them with the word of God.

Jesus knew this paralysed man.  He knew his needs and he came specifically to help him. This man, whereas he was alone, Jesus came to meet him and his needs were met as he were.  

Do you know this beautiful song: "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear; what a privilege it is to carry all our burdens to the Lord in prayer"?.  Jesus spoke power to the life of this man and his paralyzed body got the power. The paralyzed man got on his feet, he received his healing and he was a testimony to the power of the risen Christ, despite the fact that he was at that time still walking in the flesh. For me, this is good news. And this man knew it. And other people as well knew it.

Beloved, these are two people who were alive. We are not talking about stories, we are talking about reality. And Jesus met them.  The first man knew Jesus, the second man did not know Jesus. It doesn't matter. Jesus had a mission and his mission is to proclaim the good news. This Jesus is the good news.

Let us pray.

Lord, I thank you so much, for the privilege of speaking to your people the message of Christ. Christ is all we need to know. All we need is to come closer to him and embrace him so that he may give us a hug. We want to listen to his voice. We want to take all our burdens and heap them on him because he cares about us.  We want to draw closer to him. We know he loves us. We know he cares. We know that he will not go ahead and close his ears to the cries of one like that blind beggar. He will stop.

 And there are people here too, who may be crying saying "Lord, do not pass me by". Some of these people may not even know how much he can do for us. But He still will go ahead and touch their lives and change their circumstances and help them to stand right where you want them to be. May your people receive new power. I pray that they may receive a new hope in life. I thank you, Father, for this privilege to speak to my brothers and sisters. In Jesus' mighty name I pray, Amen.

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