Summary: Often times we think our greatest need is one thing when God knows that it is another. Follow the journey of one man and discover your greatest need in his story!
Bringing Down The Roof - Mark 2:1-12 - July 22, 2012
It’s not uncommon today to hear people say something like this, “If God would just reveal Himself, if He would just do some miracle for me to see, then I would turn to Him and believe.” People are looking for proof, they want to see it with their own eyes. They want God to dance to their tune and perform for their pleasure. But God is not a God to be trifled with. He’s not into party tricks. And the simple truth is that even a miracle isn’t enough to turn the hearts of many towards God. That passage that _________________ just read for us is proof of this.
Picture the scene: Two men – demon possessed – outcast – violent – dangerous – hate filled. They are feared by the whole town. They are shunned by those who used to be their family, who used to be their friends. No one has been able to help them. No one has been able to deliver them. And then along comes Jesus. And Jesus merely speaks to them and casts the demons out and in an instant their world has changed. Gone is the hatred, gone is the unpredictable violence. Gone is the rage. It’s a new lease on life for these two men – they can return to their families, to their jobs, to a life worth living once again – and they owe it all to Jesus.
You think the townsfolk would be pleased. Two of their sons have just been restored to them! You think they would celebrate the deliverance of these two men and would praise God giving thanks to Him for all that He had done on their behalf. But that’s not what happens, is it? Instead the people from the town gather together to gain their courage and then they march out to confront Jesus. And instead of thanking Him they plead with Him to leave them alone, to go away, to have nothing more to do with them. God was giving them the miracle they were looking for and when they received it, it turned out not to be what they wanted after all. This Jesus was dangerous. He was powerful. He had authority over the spiritual realm. This Jesus wasn’t safe. They couldn’t put Him in a box of their own making. All authority in heaven and on earth had been given unto Him and they trembled in blind fear before the manifest power of God when instead they should have been rejoicing with the men who had been set free, and giving thanks to God, that the day had come when the blind would see, the lame would walk, and the broken hearted be bound up.
These townsfolk shut the door on the healing that Jesus would have brought to their lives, to their relationships, their families and their marriages, they slammed the door shut on the good news that Jesus had come to bring, and so they went without never knowing what could have been. John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12, NIV84) But these did not receive Him, they would not have any part of Him, and by their own pride, and stubbornness and fear, they turned away from the grace of God. And many do that today as well with the same result.
However, there are also many others who have, and who will, receive Jesus by faith. They will draw near to Him and seek the face of God. What an example they set for us who would follow! Open your Bibles with me this morning please, to the Gospel of Mark. We’ll begin reading in Mark, chapter 2, verse 1. And what we’re about to read takes place very shortly after Jesus has set those two men free and been asked to leave. Verse 1 ...
“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”” (Mark 2:1–12, NIV84)