Healing Concord Church

March 16, 2014   Mark 2:1-12  Healing      Concord Church 

 

      You create an atmosphere.   Every church has an atmosphere.  Every home has an atmosphere. Spouses experience different atmospheres from time to time.   There can great joy and blessing and there can be anger and pain.  There is an atmosphere and different atmospheres in this passage before us today and the atmosphere changes.   There are many different responses to what is taking place in this passage.    I suppose we could ask ourselves what kind of an atmosphere do we create?   What have you contributed to the atmosphere within this church today?     How do you create an atmosphere of faith?    We see faith in this passage that moves Jesus and it changes lives. 

    In the passage before us Jesus goes to Capernaum and the people heard that he was around and they soon filled the house.  There was no room left even outside of the door and Jesus preached to them.  Here was a famous person and the crowds gathered to him.  In John 6 they followed Jesus because Jesus filled them with food through the miracle of 5 small loaves of bread and 2 small fish.   It was not much just a small boy’s lunch.   People can be selfish.  At one point they wanted to take him by force and make him king.  Here is this famous rabbi and soon the place is packed out and Jesus teaches the people as He often did.  

      Then there is an interruption to the church service.   It was a God moment and you have to love the God moments but they can be annoying at times.  The people in the room begin to hear some racket above them and pretty soon there is some straw and roofing falling down right in front of Jesus.  Pretty soon there is some light coming in and then there is a huge hole right where the roof was.  As the people look up they see 4 men and a man on a stretcher.  I am sure some of them are angry and I suspect that some of the people were yelling.   Hey what do you think you are doing up there?   I wonder what the disciples thought at that moment.   It would be great to have a lot more of the story here.   I wish the gospels were twice as long with more detail.     If the owner was present I would think that he would be rather upset and would want to know who was wreaking his house.  The people probably did not like the dirt and debris falling on them.  Don’t crash my church service some were thinking.  How would you feel if something like that happened here?   Would that be a problem?   Some church services are very well controlled and maybe just maybe we have made it so that God cannot do things that need to be done.   God can be programmed out of his church.  It certainly was time to stop teaching and deal with the situation.  

         Have you ever thought about what life was like for this parayltic?   He certainly had to depend on people.  Sometimes it is hard to trust people.  I wonder how much he worried about getting food for the day or even getting some people around to carry him where he needed to go.     This guy is in pretty bad shape for those days.   For him to get around someone had to carry him.  He could not cook or do much of anything for himself.   It may have been a long time since he had bathed.   His food did not come on meals on wheels.  I wonder if he begged for food like the man in Acts 3.   The man in Acts 3 found his way to the temple every day and there depended on folks to feel sorry for him and give him some money.    If you befriended him your job would be to carry him to the temple every day and then home again at night.   That would add a little more work to your day.

      I had a friend when I worked at Sanders named Bob who was a programmer and when he was in high school playing football he broke his neck.   He would drive to work and when he got to the toll booths he would electric roll down his window and they would reach in and get his tokens.   He could just barely move his hands and no feeling below his neck but this man did not have those kinds of resources.  There was no motorized van for this man.  People had to carry this man.    I am sure that the bathroom deal was embarrassing and difficult for him.   For most of the people of his day he probably seemed like a throw away person.   He is not contributing to the local economy and if anything is more of a drain on it than an asset.   He probably felt that kind of pain and rejection certainly while he was lame maybe his whole life.  Life was not easy or fun with him.  Sometimes we think we have it bad.   His needs were real but he had good days and probably bad days just like the rest of us.   He may have wanted to go to Jesus but could not do it alone.  He had to depend on others.  He has 4 buddies.  One person said 4 of a kind are better than a full house.   He has 4 friends and the full house does not stop him from getting to Jesus.  

      There are 4 tough guys who believe that Jesus can help their friend.   This paralytic has 4 friends that care about him and these 4 guys believe that Jesus can do something for him.    Isn’t that amazing!   The 4 guys are willing to go the extra mile to get their friend to Jesus.   They had faith and they had hope.   Can you hear them saying if we can get him to Jesus things will be better.   Jesus will help our friend out.      These 4 men are not going quit easily.   If they can’t get their friend to Jesus because of the crowd then they will climb up to the roof and tear the roof apart to lower him to Jesus.  That takes some nerve.    They are not going to wait until Jesus comes out.  This has to be done now and so they go to the roof and dismantle it so that they can let this man down in front of Jesus.    Does anyone love you enough to do that?   Would you do that for someone else?   One of the big goals of Jesus church is to reach people for Jesus.

     I think we need a dose of what these 4 men are made of.   They had a heart to bring this man to Jesus.  They were committed and would not take no for an answer.   They were willing to go the extra mile.  They had faith and they had passion.   They believed that Jesus would help him.   I would think it would be very embarrassing for them to rip the roof off another person’s house.  I do not think that was easy for them.  There was probably a risk in doing that.   They may have been arrested or been mobbed.   They could have been hurt.   Others may have seen this man as a throw away and someone not to be involved with but not them.   They saw something and felt something that others did not have or experience.  You have to respect men like that.  

   A tribe called Karbis lives in a remote village called Rongphar in Assam, India. It is a forest area and less connected with the modern facilities of the nearby city, Guwahati. When people in that village fall sick, they carry them on a pushcart to the nearby clinic which is about ten kilometers away.   Though the members of the family or the neighbors who take the sick by the pushcart are important, I find the pushcart more important, since the people who push the cart change now and then, but the pushcart remains always the same. This pushcart stands always as the most important element in the recovery of the person from sickness. When something in our life goes wrong, we require the help of others with a pushcart in order to bring us to healing.   It can be a kind word, a prayer, or some help of some kind.  We can come along the side of someone just like the Holy Spirit does for people. 

     Are you willing to be a push cart or push a cart for someone to be healed or to come to Jesus?   These men put themselves out for this man.  They were committed and the crowded people in a house were not going to stop them.   I would suggest that we spend more time in fervent prayer for lost people.  You can be an answer for someone’s need.  God can use you.  Pray for this church.  Pray for this community.   If you do not know anyone unsaved ask someone for a name.  Ask God to use you to be a blessing in someone else’s life.   I believe that God will honor that honest fervent prayer request.    

     This paralytic man made out well.  Jesus forgives the man before he heals him.  That is interesting.   Certainly Jesus is central to all of our healing.  When forgiveness comes lives are changed.   Homes are restored and blessed.   Jesus is our healer.   There is hope because Jesus is in the house.   There is hope because some guys trusted in Jesus.   The heart of the problem for this man was sin and Jesus goes straight to the heart of the need.  

     I am sure that he was happy.  The 4 men that helped him must have been ecstatic.   They saw fruit from their labor.   They made a huge difference in this man’s life.   They saw Jesus do great things and Jesus gets all the glory.  It is always exciting to see God move in people and bless people.   What makes you happy?   We like a nice meal and time with loved ones.  We like it when money comes our way.  We are thankful when our team wins.   We can yell, shout and scream at the games but not in many churches.  What makes you happy?   Maybe for some of us it is just to pay the bills that never seem to end.       What do you think makes God happy or blessed?   This brought blessing to God.  The angels rejoice over each convert.  Let’s look at this from the view point of Jesus. 

     Well Jesus is in this house and the crowds are around him and he is teaching and preaching and then there is some noise above him.   Pretty soon there is an interruption to his church service.  A lot of ministers would be mad.   Pretty soon there is a mess.  Debris is falling and dirt and dust.   The sun beings to shine in and people are getting a little out of order.   Jesus looks up and sees 4 men and pretty soon a man is dropped down right in front of him.  As the man is dropped down the crowds move out of the way.   It would be really cool to know the inside story here.  Maybe Jesus just smiled.   Maybe God had told Jesus that Jesus was to forgive him and heal him.   Jesus said He always did what the Father told him to do.  Interruptions can be frustrating but they also can be God moments.   It was God’s plan to touch this man.

       This issue of healing I struggle with.   We all struggle with pain either for others or personal pain. When loved ones suffer we struggle.   Jesus healed a lot of people but Jesus did not heal everybody.  In some towns he healed everyone that came to him.    Often Jesus would challenge their faith.   Perhaps some had their faith challenged but did not believe and were not healed.   I do not see where the gospel authors recorded any situation like that.   Handkerchiefs were passed that Paul had touched and people were healed from them but Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach.   Job was physically hit which is a whole other topic.  God can use suffering in our life.   It has been said that God will not use anyone that has not been humbled or that God has tried.  Strong faith has been in the fire. It has been tested by the Father.   I believe that God uses physical pain and suffering along with many other trials.    I really believe that God desires more people to be healed.   I would say the church today in America is not where God wants us to be.   I believe that God would have more healed if his people were trusting him.    It is important for God’s people to believe and trust.  The church should be a place of healing.

       Mark makes it plain that Jesus saw their faith not just one person’s faith.  Jesus saw their faith.   Some of that makes sense to me.   Ephesians 2:1 tells us that before we receive Jesus that we are dead to God.  If I am dead to God then I cannot respond to God.  Christians pray for others and share Jesus with others and we become part of the process of the miracle of salvation for them.  We so to speak push the cart or carry the stretcher.   I am not saying the cripple did not believe but it looks like all of them believed.   Maybe God is working in this church New Life to pull people together in their faith.  There is a lot of power when God’s people gather together and believe.  Maybe God wants to heal some of you so that you can be part of the healing process for Marcy.  David and Marcy certainly believe Jesus for Marcy’s healing.   Jesus saw their faith and ministered to him.   I believe that Jesus would respond to a community of believers who trust Him for miracles.  A community of believers united in faith is a blessing to God and will be used by the Father to build His kingdom.   When they prayed together in Acts the place shook.   God responded to their prayers. 

       Jesus tells this man your sins are forgiven.   Your sins are gone.  You are clean before God.  We do not know if he confessed or not.   Maybe Jesus just saw his heart.  He was probably aware of his sins.   God looks at the heart.   Have you heard of the little boy and his dad told him to sit down.  So he sat down and then told his dad I may be sitting down but in my heart I am standing up.   Jesus not only forgives his sin but tells him to get up take your mat and go home.   The angels rejoice and heaven rejoices over a sinner that comes to God.  This man will never be the same.  Physically he is healed.   Spiritually he is healed and forgiven.  This is totally awesome.  God and heaven are blessed.  The man is blessed.   His family is blessed.  His 4 friends are blessed.   The disciples are blessed.  The crowds must have been blessed.  It was a win, win, win situation.  You would think that everyone would be ecstatic but that is not true.   

    There were some teachers of the law there.   They should have been moved to Jesus because of the healing that took place but they were critical of Jesus.  They were not part of the healing process.  They did not stop the process.  Not everyone was on board here but God works anyway.  He works in spite of us at times.   He gets the glory.    We can find ourselves around people like that from time to time.  They can hinder and do not add anything positive.   They have a chip on their shoulder and they can be negative.   They were not happy about the outcome.  You can be sure the devil was not happy.   I do not feel bad that he is not happy.  

    Why would the king of kings and the Lord of Lords pass his way and go to this home?    Is he in any way deserving of God’s blessing?   Are you and I in any way be worthy of God’s blessing?   None of us are worthy of God’s blessing.  Why would God come my way as a young person at 11 years old?   That is when I became born again.  Well outside of Jesus we are pretty self centered and sinful.      My goodness what does Almighty God see in us?   God sees what his grace can do in our lives.    God can see the power of the HS flowing through us.   He certainly sees what forgiveness does for us.   What is there in us that would attract the mercy, grace and blessing of Jesus?     Is there some kind of beauty or wisdom or strength that would make us appealing to God?   Is there some kind of potential in us that would somehow make God a debtor to us or make us appealing to God? 

      God just loves us because it is his nature.   It is God’s nature to shower upon us His grace and His blessings.   He is merciful and compassionate.   Humility is very important.   Our pride can drive him away.   When he is asked to leave he leaves.   The humble are open to God.  May I suggest that it is when we understand and acknowledge our total helplessness that makes us attractive to God.    Isaiah 66:2 this is the one I esteem he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.   What do you think?   That kind of speaks of the paralytic doesn’t it?   He is helpless before the touch of Jesus.   He is a needy man.  Can you identify with him today?   Lord I need you today.   I do not want to live today without you.   God loves the throw away's so to speak of society.   God loves the unlovely.  No one is too hard for God.    When we understand that we find a new power to live this Christian life.  Outside of Jesus every single human being is just like this crippled man.  People often put the rich on a pedestal.   They may look successful and be financially secure but without Jesus they are poor, blind and naked before the living God but even in that condition they are precious to God.  God loves everybody.  We have a hard time understanding how valuable people are even those that do not know God.    Jesus died for people.  The bible tells us that Jacob or God’s people Christians are the apple of God’s eye.   You are the apple of God’s eye.   How cool is that?

    I hope one the goals of your life are to help others come to Jesus – to part of the healing process.   One of the goals of every Christian should be to pray for the lost and to pray for revival and as we live our lives point others to Jesus.   Jesus said if you reach out to people like this man you minister and bless Jesus.  If you do it unto the least then you do it for him.