Summary: How a few, working in unity,can be blessings compared to a full Church seeking personal blessings.
1And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
11I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
We live today in a land where the church houses are often filled; it is not uncommon to hear of a church with hundreds and even thousands in attendance. In and of itself attendance is not the issue that we will address in this message, but rather the condition of the hearts of those in attendance. It is often the case that we come to church for the wrong reasons: for personal blessings, for personal worship, for personal edification. When God is moving in the church house personal blessings should be the farthest things on our hearts. The large crowds that followed Jesus in his earthly ministry followed expecting their daily, physical needs to be met. Whether the need was healing, miracles, or simply the daily bread needed for life. When we come and bask in the glory of God, accepting his blessings, without ever considering the needs of the lost and undone outside of the saving grace of Jesus, we are no different than the crowds that followed Jesus simply for what he could do for them.
A German soldier was wounded. He was ordered to go to the military hospital for treatment. When he arrived at the large and imposing building, he saw two doors, one marked, "For the slightly wounded," and the other, "For the seriously wounded."
He entered through the first door and found himself going down a long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For officer" and the other, "For non-officers." He entered through the latter and found himself going down another long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For party members" and the other, "For non-party members." He took the second door, and when he opened it he found himself out on the street.
When the soldier returned home, his mother asked him, "How did you get along at the hospital?"
"Well, Mother," he replied, "to tell the truth, the people there didn’t do anything for me, but you ought to see the tremendous organization they have!"
The soldier’s comment describes many churches in our day: really organized, but accomplishing little.
Let us look now at the teaching of our Savior, Jesus Christ, concerning a church service that was disturbed for the Glory of God. If you will pardon the reference to a card game, I would like to title the message, "Four of a kind beats a full house."