Summary: MY316 is a 5 week Small group study put out by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that we did at our church. It's a study that focuses on evangelism. I preached 5 sermons that went along with each weeks study.
“Who can you bring to Jesus?”
There was a Christian who prayed a certain prayer every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is." One day he found himself on a nearly empty bus when a big, burly man sat next to him. The timid believer anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get off, the big burly guy next to him burst into tears and began to weep. This big but contrite man then cried out with a loud voice, "I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to this Christian gentleman and pleaded, "Can you show me how to find the Lord?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?"
That reminds me of many Christians. We are either to scared or selfish. We know the cure but we are only applying it to ourselves. We aren’t using our knowledge to help others. We are waiting for a sign when God already gave us a sign it’s called the Bible and as we learned last week, it tells us to GO! Today we are going to read about four unselfish friends who were willing to bring their friend to Jesus. It’s one of my very favorite episodes in Jesus’ life. Let’s read about it and then we will learn some powerful principles we can apply to our lives. Read Luke 5: 17-26.
Try to picture Jesus as He was sitting in that small room. Every available place in the room was occupied with people sitting and standing. We are told many of these people were the religious mafia, the official teachers of the Law. These Pharisees traveled all the way from Jerusalem to check out this renegade preacher. Suddenly, in the midst of His teaching session, pieces of the straw and plaster roof started falling on Jesus and on those seated around him. I’m sure everyone wondered what was going on.
They must have watched, as the small hole got larger and larger. All the time, straw, plaster, and pieces of wood were falling on those in the room. Soon they could see the sweating faces of four determined men. When the hole was large enough, these four men used ropes or long pieces of cloth to gently lower their paralyzed friend until he was hanging in midair. Jesus looked up. Moved by the faith of those four friends He said, “Be healed!” Wait, that’s not what He says; although that is what everyone expected Jesus to say. He says to this paralyzed man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
What happened next tells us a lot about Jesus and can tell us a lot about ourselves. From this great story, I want to share five powerful principles we can apply to our lives today.
1. The best thing you can do for a person is to bring them to Jesus.
These four unnamed men are in my opinion heroes. They had a friend with a need. They believed Jesus could help their friend, so they took it upon themselves to bring their friend to Jesus. Let me ask you a few personal questions: Do you have any friends, family members; classmates or work associates who need what Jesus can do for them? Do you care about them? There was a story about a man and his girlfriend who were out to eat one night and his girlfriend asked him, “Do you believe in God?” “Yes,” he replied.
So she asked him, “Is it a problem that I’m not religious?” “Not for me.” He answered. “How’s that?” she asks. Her boyfriend says, “I’m not the one going to hell.” It’s plain to see that he really didn’t care about her knowing Jesus because if he did he would have taken the time to share with her how Jesus had made a difference in his life. Do you really believe Jesus can make a difference in people’s lives? If you do, you will do whatever it takes to bring them to Jesus.
If you see a hungry man who needs food, you ought to feed him. That’s good. If you see someone who is cold without a coat, you ought to give them a coat. That’s wonderful. If you meet someone who is troubled and needs someone to listen to them talk about their problems, you ought to listen. All of those are good things to do. But I want to emphasize that the very best thing you can do for a person is to bring them to Jesus. Why? Because a hungry man will be hungry again. A cold person will need another coat when that one wears out. But Jesus can meet a need that lasts forever.