Summary: In Mark 2, Jesus told the crippled man that his sins were forgiven. What if his continuing injuries resulted from his refusal to forgive the person responsible for his injuries? Like him, we must forgive or our unforgiveness will cripple us!
FORGIVE OR BE CRIPPLED
A. HUMOR: THE BASS BOAT
1. Boudreaux won a bass boat in a raffle drawing. He brought it home & his wife looked at him & said, “What you gonna do wit dat? There ain’t no water deep enough to float a boat within 75 mile of here”.
2. He says, “I won it and I’m gonna keep it.” Thibodeaux, his friend, came over to visit several days later. He saw the wife & asked where Boudreaux was.
3. She says, “He’s out there in his bass boat,” pointing to the field behind the house.
4. Thib headed out behind the house & saw Boud sitting in a bass boat with a fishin rod in the hand, down in the middle of a big field. There wasn’t a drop of water in sight.
5. Thib Yells out to him, “What do you think you’re doing?” Boud replied, “I’m fishing…What does it LOOK like I’m a doing?”
6. Thib yelled back, “You know, it’s people like you that give people from Louisiana a bad name, making everybody think we’re stupid. And if I could swim, I’d come out there & whip you!”
B. TEXT: Mark 2:1-12
“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since 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. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6Now 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?" 8Immediately 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? 9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10But 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." 12He 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!"
I. TASK UNDERTAKEN TOGETHER
A. THEIR UNSELFISH INTEREST
1. Their love for their friend was sacrificial. He would be a heavy load. How many of us have four such friends? The paralytic may not have had much, but he was rich. He who is loved by others has riches which the world cannot buy.
2. Unresting until their friend is healed.
3. Faith they had for their friend – “If we can just get him to Jesus, he’ll be healed!”
B. NEEDFUL TODAY
1. Many people only require one witness for them to be saved.
2. Many will never be won through the efforts of one; they require the combined efforts of several. Some plant, others water, etc.
3. I pray that little squads of soldiers of the cross will go out to bring them in. Someone’s got to bring them to Jesus!
II. DIFFICULTY IN GETTING TO JESUS
A. ATTEMPTS TO ENTER OBSTRUCTED
1. Even outside the door -- large crowd.
2. "Make way! Make way for the sick! Stand aside! For Mercy’s sake, let this sick man reach the healing prophet!"
3. In Vain were their entreaties. Many other sick were also trying to enter.
4. It was IMPOSSIBLE by ordinary means to get to Him.
B. WE ALSO FACE OBSTRUCTIONS TO JESUS
1. Trials cloud our faith.
2. Worldly crowd/thinking, hinders us.
3. Time to pray -- seems scarce.
4. The Bible says that Satan works harder today because he knows his time is short. Shouldn't we be working harder too?
C. BUT WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
1. We must get our friend to Jesus! When they couldn’t get in through the door, they climbed on the roof and opened a hole in the roof of the house and let him down by ropes, right in front of Jesus.
2. “When Jesus saw their faith” he said [to the paralytic], “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Lk. 5:20. They’d brought this man to be healed, but here’s Jesus forgiving the man’s sins first. That’s a clue to God’s divine order of doing things.
3. The Pharisees’ immediate reaction was, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”