The First Bap­tist Church Of Bethany

McDonald County Press - - CHURCH -

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.

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