The First Baptist Church Of Bethany
Our Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church of Pineville on Sept. 10 was brought to us by our Associate Pastor Ryan Crawford, reading from the book of Mark 2:1-12. The message titled “Getting People to Know Jesus.”
Do you know anybody who needs Jesus? Perhaps the question should better be phrased, “Do you know anybody who doesn’t need Jesus?” Everyone needs Jesus. But not everyone is aware of their need or even if they are aware, is capable of getting to Him by themselves. “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.” The reality of His presence means there isn’t a place where he is not! He is God, and He is omnipresent. Of course, that means there is no place that we are that He is not. He watches every television program that we view, He reads every book we read, and He listens to every bit of music we allow our ears to hear. He knows our deeds, our thoughts, our words, and our heart.
Does anyone know that Jesus is in your house? Shortly after he married, G. Campbell Morgan invited his father to visit his home. He expected that his dad would be proud of the homemaking touches of his wife, and of the ways things had been arranged. “Well, Dad.” he said after showing him around, “what do you think?”
“I suppose it’s all right,” his father said. “But there’s nothing in this house to let anybody know that Jesus lives here.” G. Campbell Morgan decided as a result of his father’s comment to make sure that everybody would know that Jesus was in his house. In every room he placed a Scripture verse, a plaque, or some other memento indication that this was a Christian home. Do people see Jesus in you? Do they recognize His presence?
Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”… John 12:32. It is the presence of Jesus that makes any person or any place appealing.
There were many bushes in the desert, but Moses’ attention was drawn to one because God was there. There were many wells in Israel, but tourists travel to just one, Jacob’s well, for it was there the presence of Jesus brought living water to a wicked woman. There are many graves in the cemetery of Bethany, but we travel to see only one, the grave of Lazarus, for it was there that Jesus raised a dead man back to life. I’ve been to church services in basement buildings where metal chairs scraped against a concrete floor and every other key on the piano stuck, and yet I was tremendously blessed because Jesus was lifted up and glorified. I’ve also attended services in ornate buildings where my spirit was not touched because Jesus was not honored.
Note that although the man brought to the Lord Jesus is paralyzed, the first response of the Saviour is not to heal his disease, but to cleanse his sin. Jesus emphasizes the spiritual over the physical. There are those today who tell us we cannot minister to the spiritual side of man until we have met his physical needs. This is not the teaching of Scripture, nor the example of Christ.
Jesus emphasizes the individual over the multitude. Though a great crowd had gathered to hear Him, He turned from them to help one man who was in need. Our Lord tells us of a shepherd who left 99 sheep in the wilderness to see the one that was separated from the flock.
Jesus emphasizes the lost over the saved. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the Lord makes it clear that emphasis is to be given to the prodigal who returns more than to the faithful son who remains.
The Power of Jesus and the availability of His Power reminds us in this story that he was able to heal this paralytic as He is able to help every need of every person in the world.
“When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”
This faith seems to refer not only to the four who brought the sick man in, but to the sick man himself. It is faith that accesses the power of God. Although God’s power is available to all, it is accessible only to those who believe Him and act upon His word.
What Jesus did for the sick man on the outside was an authentication of what He has already done for the sick man’s soul on the inside.
As the partners of Jesus I wonder if we have anything approaching the concern these men had for their friend. Lost people dash madly toward Hell all around us and we never shed a tear, we never offer a prayer for their souls, we never pass out a tract, we never try to win them to Christ.
This story shows that this man’s friends absolutely believed Jesus could make a difference in the life of their friend.