In preparing to take a new friend through Christianity Explained I have been reading through the book of Mark in my old faithful NIV study bible. Scribbled in the margins around Mark 2 I found a wealth of challenging comments which were exactly what I needed to hear. Mark 2 is the story of the persistent men who brought the “man on the mat” to Jesus. Jesus’ concern and his actions showed all those gathered that He was the Son of God. I’ll list some of my notes here in point form for you to contemplate:
1. The greatest miracle Jesus performs is that of forgiving our sin – has He ever said to you “your sins are forgiven”?
2. This miracle authenticated Jesus’ power to forgive sin. Neither forgiving sins nor healing was an easy task – but they were ‘God tasks’ – things only God could do. Jesus was clearly the Son of God.
3. The men who carried the paralytic in were persistent, they had faith. Their love for their friend was clear – God is pleased to work where there is love.
4. The teachers of the law showed indifference to the man’s needs and criticised Jesus for healing.
5. Jesus met the man’s greatest need first – his need for forgiveness. This was most costly to Jesus – it revealed his power, his authority, and it was by revealing these that the road to the Cross was paved. It brought out the wrath of the Pharisees who charged him with blaspheming, claiming to be God.
6. We must find ways, at any cost, of bringing people face to face with Jesus. (Do we love those around us this much? Do we love them as much as the men loved the man on the mat?)
7. If we believe in Jesus then we will be persistent, creative and sacrificial in bringing others to Christ.
Please pray for me as I bring another sinner who needs forgiveness face to face with Jesus.
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Yes, I will pray for you and your new friend
Crazy! I just heard a similar sermon yesterday… and the day before. I love that Jesus met the true need of the paralytic: having his sins forgiven. Back in those days, the majority of people believed that physical illness was associated with unrepentent sin. This man was probably terribly confused and suffering at the thought that he was a sinner who wasn’t forgiven. God is so good to see the root of our suffering and heal from the inside out. I also think it’s awesome how his friends used creativity and persistence to bring their friend to Jesus. I mean, really! Just imagine being in the middle of a crowded church service and watch the ceiling tiles slowly being removed and a person being dropped in. Crazy! Inventive. I love it!
Absolutely! And thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings!
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