Summary: The 4 who brought the paralytic to Jesus possessed character traits that are worth emulating as it relates to faith.
Faith That Laughed At Barriers Mark 2:1-15
Although the native Americans had no written alphabet before they met the white man, their language was anything but primitive. The vocabulary of many Indian nations was as large as that of their French and English exploiters, and often far more eloquent. Compare the coldness of “friend” with “one-who-carries-my-sorrows-on-his-back.” It seems to me that this is an apt description of these four friends in our scripture lesson
One thing is for certain, these four were certainly extra-ordinary. They possessed certain traits which are worthy of noting and emulating. Consider six of them...
1. Concern for Someone in Need
a. moved to action
- sympathy: I’m sorry you hurt
- empathy: I feel your pain
- compassion: I’ll do what I can to ease or stop your pain
b. Real faith is not just something you say (see James 2:14)
c. Real faith is not just something you feel (see James 2:15,16)
d. Real faith is not just something you think (see James 2:18)
e. Real faith is no just something you believe (see James 2:19)
f. Real faith is something you do.
g. These 4 cared enough to be inconvenienced
h. They gave up a place in the crowd
2. They Were Persistent
a. flows from a sense of urgency, desperation
b. weren’t intimidated by others
c. found another way
Illus.: “He Proved Them Wrong”
They told him he wasn’t good enough. He was too slow and too small to compete with men who were bigger and faster. The only thing the coach said was,
“You’re not good enough to play for us. Turn in your
helmet.” He packed everything he owned into a 6 foot
trailer and drove his Ford Pinto station wagon back to
Oklahoma. Faith in God had sustained him in the dark
days when he prepared to get on with life. Then the
phone rang. Another team was interested in him. By
the time he retired from the game in 1989 he had set
3 records in the National Football League. Steve Largent, the Hall of Fame player–the man whom they said was too small and too slow–had caught 819 passes for 13,089 yards and 100 touchdowns.
3. Possessed a Faith That Laughed at Barriers
a. What were the barriers?
- crowd—Luke says they tried the door
- stares of the crowd
- getting up on the roof
- the roof
- the shock of the host
- lowering the man down
- Jesus was preaching
- teachers of the law were there (intimidation)
b. Matthew says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.”
c. Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by those who are doing it.
4. They Possessed a Spirit of Cooperation
a. When believers cooperate, unite and work together, things get done and God is glorified.
b. Psalm 133:1: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.”
c. John 17:21: “May they be brought to complete unity.”
5. Knew the Only Answer Was Jesus
a. This conviction gave them boldness and determination.
They would not quit.
b. They could have gone home and missed the miracle.