Summary: Compassion is the fuel that enables & drives us. It is the only fuel that will enable us to fulfil God’s will and finish the task He has set us. In this passage, compassion was the four men’s motivation to get their sick friend to the feet of Jesus.
BRINGING A SICK WORLD TO CHRIST - Part 2 of 2
Mark 2:1-12 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 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 paralysed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 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? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 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!"
Note: The people were in this place because Jesus preached [the word].
1. COMPASSION MOTIVATES BELIEVERS
Compassion is the fuel that enables & drives us. It is the only fuel that will enable us to fulfil God’s will and finish the task He has set us. In this passage, compassion was the four men’s motivation to get their sick friend to the feet of Jesus.
* If we are fuelled / motivated by a desire to be recognised, we will never finish our journey, our course. Only the compassion of God in our heart compassion will keep us on track.
* Any other desire, e.g. personal gain or a desire for prominence and we will not make it.
A. CARE IS NEEDED
Everything we do is measured by God against compassion. How we are motivated / moved can only be measured against the compassion of Jesus Christ.
We must never be filled with pride - the sense of our own importance - or we will end up like Lucifer.
2. OUR MOTIVATION
What is our desire to grow?
* Is it to be noticed, to have a big church?
* Why do we do what we do?
Remember that at the judgement seat of Christ we will not be judged solely by what we have done, but by why we did it. Our motives are constantly under God’s microscope, so we need to continually check ourselves.
We need to love people as individuals, not as a crowd. When we preach, we do so to enable the Holy Spirit to speak to each individual soul, so they will receive life.
* Compassion is not natural. It is neither emotion nor sympathy. It is supernatural! Sometimes the Lord gives us a message, a prophecy, even an entire service -- all done for one individual. Does that not show a merciful God?
* No matter how big the meeting, God looks at individual hearts. He singles people out from the crowd and ministers to them and so should we!
* Compassion does not come by education or study! You cannot teach compassion; there is no degree course at Bible College. You cannot read a book that gives ‘Five Steps to Compassion’.
3. HOW DO WE GET COMPASSION?
Back to the passage. The four men were moved by compassion for their friend, so:
* How do we receive compassion?
* How are we moved with compassion for a lost and dying world?
A. ONLY BY SEEING
We get compassion by ‘seeing’! Consider Matthew 9:36 & 14:14.
Mat 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Mat 14:14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
In these passages, Jesus saw the crowd as individuals, their pain, sickness, emptiness, loneliness.
Compassion is not something you can psyche up; you cannot study it up, work it up; you must see something. That is why many Christians do nothing - they see nothing.
Jesus continually encouraged His Disciples to ‘see’ something, which would produce compassion that would in turn move them to action.
Remember, the root of the word ‘saw’(‘eido’) used in this context, means, “to look at something and have a full understanding of the situation and what’s required to put it right.”