Healing

March 2, 2014   Mark 2:1-12  Healing   

 

      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.  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. 

         Have you ever thought about what life was like for this cripple man?   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 in 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.  The beggar 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 Bob Hopkins 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 tool 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.  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 stops him from getting to Jesus.   

      There are 4 tough guys who believe that Jesus can help their friend.   This cripple 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 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 this 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, I find, 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 a few people crowded 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.  We need to see some lost folks saved this year folks. 

     This man made out well.  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 church.  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?  

     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. 

      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 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.   Jesus said your sins are forgiven.   Your sins are gone.  You are clean before God.  We do not know if he confessed or not.   Maybe Jesus saw his heart.  Jesus not only forgives his sin but tells him to get 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. 

    Why would the king of kings and the Lord of Lords pass his way?    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?   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.   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 appealing to God?   God just loves us because it is his nature.    Humility is very important.   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.   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.   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 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 is to help others come to Jesus.   One of the goals of the Christians should be to pray for the lost and to pray for revival and as we live our lives point others to Jesus.