You just Gotta Love Jesus! – Mark 2:1-12

04/01/2020 

   Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 13 

   How are you doing today church family? I hope that you are all well. 

   How many of your felt the earthquake yesterday? I’ve got to tell you that I was standing in the foyer of the church visiting with Christians Starr, Caleb Harris, and Paul Kressin when I felt a spinning taking place inside of me. I asked if they were feeling the same thing. Christian said that he thought it was just his body doing something. Paul said, “I feel that way all the time.” Caleb said he didn’t feel anything. I told them I think we just had an earthquake somewhere. As soon as I said that I got a phone call from Debbie, and he first question to me was, “What was that?” I asked her if she felt it too, and she said that our house was moving. Later I got a text message from Paul that read, “You were right, there was an earthquake. Magnitude 6.5 earthquake 78 miles from Boise, Idaho. Largest earthquake in 40 years.

Pause and Pray: 

Pray for our national response to COVID-19. The statistical data doesn’t look promising. Estimates are as high as 240,000 dying here in the U.S.

Pray for the epicenters of the COVID-19, which is our large cities: New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans…

Pray that Christians will do their part in the SLOW the SPREAD during the month of April.

Pray for cities and health workers that are stretched beyond their limit.

Pray through the church directory. Pray for families being affected in our area.

Pray for wisdom for how we as a church are to respond. Especially within our own community.

Pray for your own need today. What is it that you need from the Lord?

Hold on to the truth in II Timothy 1:7 (Have you memorized this verse). 

Our WORD from the Lord today is found in Mark 2:1-12.   

When I was a youth pastor, I would take our youth group to a large youth conference in Ellensburg, Washington (YouthQuake). At the conference they had competitions for basketball teams, volleyball, swimming, choirs, speech, and many other things. It was a big deal, and the youth loved it. The conference was so large that the majority of hotels were filled with youth from all over the Northwest. In the general conference the youth would be sitting in the bleachers of a large sports complex. The leaders of the conference would have the youth divided into two sections, and they would have one group start a cheer that went like this: I Love Jesus Yes, I do, I love Jesus how about you? Then they would have the other side responded a little bit louder and say: I Love Jesus Yes, I do, I love Jesus how about you? The youth would do this over and over for quick a bit of time. It was great!

   Well today I want to have a word with you about: You just Gotta Love Jesus!

   In our Scripture today we are going to take a look at the Biblical account of Jesus healing a paralytic man. It is a very well-known story found in three of the four Gospels. The parallel passages are Matt. 9:1–8; Luke 5:17–26.   Why do we love Jesus?  

   I. Because of His teaching – Mark 2:1-2

   2 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

   What do you love about the teachings of Jesus?

  • The message He shared
  • The encouragement He provided
  • The wisdom He imparted
  • The truth He taught
  • The hope He instilled
  • The prophecy He provided

   Our text tells us that when people heard that Jesus was in the house that they came “many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.”

   I don’t know a pastor who wouldn’t like to have that kind of a problem. We would love to see the church PACKED with people, so much so that there was no room at the doors. People loved the teachings of Jesus. Why? Because he spoke different. His words were from the Father. They were God’s truth to thirsty souls.

   Take a look at the end of verse 3,

   And He preached the word to them.

   This is really why we love the teaching of Jesus. His words came from His Father. When Jesus spoke, He literally was speaking the Words of His Father (John 8:28, 12:49, 14:10).

   In the high priestly prayer of Jesus found in John 17, Jesus prayed the following words in verse 17,

   Sanctify them by your Word, Your Word is Truth.

   II. Because we can bring our friends to Him – 2:3-4

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

   In this account we have four friends bringing their paralytic friend to Jesus. When they got him to the house they couldn’t get in, and so they came up with Plan B. They took apart the roof and lowered him down to Jesus with ropes on the four corners of the mat. How is that for being creative?

   When it comes to sharing Jesus or even bringing our friends to Jesus how creative are, we? What have been our modus of operations?

  • Invite to Church?
  • Share a tract?
  • Invite them home for a meal?
  • Talk with them over a cup of coffee?
  • Take them to a Christian concert?
  • Share our testimony?

   Our new method – Social media and Online Church.

   How important was it for the four friends in this account to get their friend to Jesus? How important is it for us to get our friends to Jesus?

  They were WHATEVER it takes friends! Are we?

   III. Because He forgives sins – 2:5-6 

   5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 

   Please hear this next comment: Faith and Forgiveness go together.

   We read in our text that Jesus saw their faith. What is faith? Trust. Confidence. Assurance. It is belief. These men believed in the awesome power of Jesus. Do we? Have you? Will you?

   Once the friend had been lowered down to Jesus, He looked at him and he said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Hear this: The greatest need a person has is NOT physical healing, but spiritual healing. It is better to have your sins forgiven than to be healed of any type of infirmity. Jesus has the POWER to forgive sins.

   Is there anyone listening today that needs to have their sins forgiven? Come to Jesus right now. Make a decision for Jesus Christ today. Don’t put it off. 

  Next, I want us to notice who else appears in the crowd – the religious naysayers. We will always have the religious naysayers in the crowd. Who are they, but the Pharisees? They were considered the legalist of the day. If something could be pointed out as being wrong – they were the ones to point it out.

   They didn’t like what they heard, that Jesus forgave this man his sin. 

   IV. Because He speaks directly to the heart – 2:8-10 

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 

Now, if the truth be known we like it when Jesus speaks directly to the heart, unless it is our heart that is being spoken to.

  • Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking.
  • He knew what they reasoned within their hearts.

  Get this – Everything about life flows from our heart. All the issues of life come from the heart (See Proverbs 4:23).

   Jesus asked the Pharisees a question: Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? Why did He ask them this particular question?

   I believe the truth that Jesus was seeking to drive home is that the first would take care of the second. In other words, “Your sins are forgiven you” would also take care of the physical problem of the paralytic. However, if Jesus just said to the man, “Arise, take up your bed and walk” nothing spiritual inside the man would have occurred.

   Jesus’ words often confirm what is going on in our hearts! This is why we so desperately need to be in the Word on a consistent basis. 

   V. Because of the miracles of Jesus – 2:11-12 

11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 

   What commands does Jesus give this man?

  1. Arise – You have been healed.
  2. Take up his bed – Take your belongings with you.
  3. Go to your house – Tell your family first what has happened to you.

   Do you know what I don’t see in these verses? Hesitation or Procrastination! There is no hesitation on the forgiven and healed man’s part. Immediately he arose, took up his bed, and went out in the presence of them all. This man was healed!

   What is going through the minds of those watching all this unfold before their very eyes? They were all amazed and glorified God, saying,

   “We never saw anything like this!” 

   Jesus is the miracle worker! If we saw Jesus’ miracles, I assure you that we too would say,

   “We never saw anything like this!”

Here are some questions we might ask ourselves from this text:

  1. Do we love the words of Jesus?
  2. Are we pro-active when it comes to bringing people to Jesus?
  3. Have your sins been forgiven by Jesus Christ?
  4. Have you had Jesus speak directly to your heart?
  5. Are you thankful for Jesus’ miracles?
   
   Until tomorrow, Walk with the King today and be a blessing.