Summary: In poker, the odds determine the winning hand. This same scenario played out in Christ's life: four of a kind beat the challenge of a full house. Four friends were able, against all obstacles and hindrances, to get their friend to Jesus. May we love thus!
FOUR OF A KIND BEATS A FULL HOUSE
A. HUMOR: Speeding Stories
1. a. Kimberly Owen’s husband was driving home from work when he was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Two days later, he received the same ticket from the same cop.
b. The officer said, "So... have you learned anything?" "Yes, I have," said her husband. "I've learned I need to take a different way home from work!"
2. DILIGENT POLICE OFFICERS
a. While returning from a trip to visit his grandmother, a man was stopped by a state trooper for exceeding the speed limit.
b. Grateful to have received a warning instead of a ticket, my friend gave him a small bag of his grandmother's delicious chocolate chip cookies and proceeded on his way.
c. Later, he was stopped by another trooper. "What have I done?" he asked. "Nothing," the trooper said, smiling. "I heard you were passing out great chocolate chip cookies."
B. SPIRITUAL GAMBLING FACTS
1. The third highest hand in a game of poker is Four of a Kind. The odds of a hand like that are 1 in 3,744 hands. The next highest hand is a Full House, the odds are 1 in 624. You are 6 times more likely to have a Full House than to have Four of a Kind.
2. That’s the way it was in the story before us. Jesus had a Full House, the house was packed where He was preaching. But just because the House of God is full does not mean that the house is full of God. All kinds of different people had come to hear Jesus and they had come for different reasons, but along came Four of a Kind. These men had a common interest and purpose: they cared about their friend who was suffering and worked together to bring him to Jesus.
C. 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!"
D. TITLE: “Four of a Kind Beats a Full House.”
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.