Mark 2 - Four Faithful Men
I can tell already that this is going to be difficult to write through the book of Mark. Mark is going through the life of Christ at an almost staggering pace that offers plenty to reflect on. There is a lot to talk about from Chapter 2, like the concern over the Sabbath, Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors and even the old wineskin discussion. But my heart always goes to the four faithful men who did whatever they had to, to get their friend to Jesus.
I am enamored by their faith and gumption to go through a crowd of people, dig through a roof and lower their friend down to Jesus. Never mind what people may have thought. Never mind how much work it was going to be to carry and lower the paralyzed man as they did. Never mind all of the reasons why they shouldn’t go through what they did, they did it anyways.
I love this story of faithful men; it offers an incredible challenge to me. Am I willing to do whatever it takes to get people to Jesus? No matter what the obstacles are, am I willing to do what I need to get people to Jesus? An even more difficult question might be, do I believe that it is Jesus that people actually need? When I see the struggles of people around me, do I immediately think that Jesus is what they need most or is what they need most is a warm cooked meal?
A warm-cooked meal may help you lead people to Christ, don’t get me wrong, my point is this though; sometimes we do what we think is most important and forget who offers New Life. People come to me all the time with physical needs, and the root of the problem is almost always a spiritual need. They, of course, only want for me to meet that physical need and want me to leave the sin problems swept under the rug. Jesus saw the same situation, a man presented to him with a physical need, and instead he offers the spiritual help the man truly needs, the forgiveness of his sins.
The four faithful men responded to the need for the paralyzed man to be healed. They brought him to Jesus. They knew where to go for help and the response of the Helper could never have been predicted.
Perhaps that is where I am heading with all of this, we need to get people to Jesus and let the real physician do the work of healing people where they need the most healing.
I don’t always know what that looks like. It’s easy to make a statement like “we need to get people to Jesus” and not put it into application.
I imagine, it’s a community of people making it a priority of their own to go before Jesus and seek forgiveness and healing for themselves. What might work best is an example of faithful people, faithfully seeking Jesus frequently.
Or it might be people being Jesus to others, offering forgiveness and love to the people around them. I’m sure we all have love and forgiveness that needs distribution.
It might be simply praying for people to come to Christ. What I like about the four faithful men is they saw a need, they saw the answer, and they responded.
The next time you see a person in need, remember that it is Jesus they need, and do whatever it is you have to do to get them to Jesus.
The Good Samaritan might be the best illustration of seeing a need and meeting it in a loving way.
Are we introducing our world to its loving Savior, Jesus Christ?
Prayer – Heavenly Father, I do not always consider your Son the answer to pains and struggles of this world. For that, I repent and ask for forgiveness. When the needs and hurts of others are before me, may I respond as the four faithful men did, who were willing to go through significant obstacles to get the paralytic to your Son. As they were faithful, may I be faithful in bringing people to the healer and great physician of our souls, Jesus Christ. As your servant, I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
4/11/2011 06:14:57 am
Jordan , While reading your blog today, I can not help but thinking of Japan. I am on the board of World Compassion Network. WCN is a Warsaw based Ministry that serves the suffering. Our director Joe Wilkey made the same observation while in Japan. What Japan neede is Christ. Only 1% are Christian. Yes they need physicle help. but only spiritul help will safe them.
4/11/2011 06:41:20 am
Larry, I was thinking about Japan a lot in my sermon from this week. I said, "We ought to respond to travesties like Japan not with the question, 'Where is God' or 'how could God let this happen', rather we ought ask the question 'How do we show people in the midst of travesty the love of God?'"
Leave a Reply.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.