Summary: Message deals with the four men who lowered the paralyzed man down through the roof, talks about healing, but also reaching the sinners for Christ, using the paralytic as an example of how hard we must work to save souls.
FOUR OF A KIND
A SERIES ON JESUS: PART III (HEALING)
BIBLE VERSE: Mark 2:1-12
1 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 paralyzed 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!"
TRANSITION: Using a deck of cards, explain how cards are played. If you have knowledge of a basic card trick, you may even perform it. Then explain that today at Bible Study, we are using some card metaphors. But unlike a game of luck, when studying the Lord we will take no chances.
1. FOUR OF A KIND
A. LIKEMINDEDNESS (ONE ACCORD): Acts 2:1 in the King James Version:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Explain how powerful a rope is when three cords come together. And mention that perhaps the greatest key to continued and sustainable church growth is the decision to be in ONE ACCORD (mention that this is
not the priority of our lesson today, but we will mention it every chance we get).
Remind all of the ONE ACCORD standards we have set:
1) Church every Sunday.
2) Bible Study every Sunday.
3) A Midweek Small Group (Prime Time or other).
4) A daily quiet time.
B. THE THREE M’S:
Mind: Their minds were all about bringing a “sinner” to Jesus (and remember, the word sinner applies to the paralytic here, and is used in reference to the “non-believer” or “the lost”). You know what? If we want to witness to people, we have to have our minds in it to do so. There are so many chances lost that we probably cannot even comprehend because our minds are not into it.
Motive: 2 Peter 3: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentence. Understand, that these 4 men had one motive AND so does God. Their motive matches the creator of the world, and that is for people to come to know Jesus. Tough question, does your motive match the Lord’s?
Motion: But it wasn’t just words. They carried actions.
3 Frogs sitting on a log, 2 of them thought about jumping. What happened? Nothing, thinking about it doesn’t do anything. It takes action, it takes motion.
General McClellan: In the civil war, General McClellan was a horrible Northern general. He was horrible NOT because he didn’t drill his soldiers, he drilled them awesome. He was horrible because he wouldn’t
attack. Antietam: Lee went North looking for a victory to crush Union morale (however, Southern battle plans had been found rolled up with cigars in an open meadow). McClellan attacked Lee in a battle ending
23,000 lives (bloodiest single day of CW). McClellan doesn’t pursue Lee (Lee’s surrender would have ended war). McClellan could have won the war and saved millions of lives: but no action, no motion.
THESE 4 MEN WERE OF ONE ACCORD, THEY WERE FOUR OF A KIND.
2. A FULL HOUSE
A. THE CHURCH WAS FULL: Notice that the church/house church that was meeting that day, was full. Every seat was taken, it was probably uncomfortable. Notice though, that a full house doesn’t necessarily mean that “the lost” can get to Jesus.
B. QUOTE FROM SERMON
Pastor Charles Trout puts it this way:
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.