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Summary: We have made Christianity into a spectator sport. We just sit back in church and listen to the music, and the sermons and never really get involved in the game. We need some Christians today to get off the sidelines and get on the front lines.

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If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

(Mark 9:43;47)

And anytime Jesus talked about discipleship he preached of self-sacrifice.

Mark 2:3-4 Some 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.

CARRIED BY FOUR OF THEM…. They worked in unity. If they would’ve all picked up their friend and went in separate directions they would’ve gotten nowhere. Many churches and Christians are stagnate today because of disunity among believers. Jesus prayed for us that we would be united in our mission for God.

That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: John 17:20-23

SINCE THEY COULD NOT GET HIM TO JESUS…. Which is better, to have a church full of people, or a church full of God? There are many mega churches today that are filled with thousands of people that are going through the motions just getting lost in the crowds. Naturally we would prefer to have a church full of both people and God. As a church body we must be focused on lifting up Jesus not only to the lost world but to the body of Christ.

32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." . John 12:32

BECAUSE OF THE CROWED – They were too self-absorbed to move over and let the men carrying their friend through to Jesus. All they were focused on was what they could get out of it for themselves. Sometimes we do similar things in the church today. Many churches today won’t let people through their legalistic views of religion to see Jesus. They are too busy laying out a list of does and don’t for people to abide by all the while neglecting the gospel.

Their urgency: THEY MADE AN OPENING IN THE ROOF. When I read this it makes me wonder why they didn’t just wait until Jesus finished preaching and the crowd went home to approach Jesus. Maybe this isn’t their first attempt to get their friend to Jesus. It’s possible that they had tried before and chose to wait, but the crowds didn’t fade.

To get their friend on the roof couldn’t have been an easy task, and to lower through an opening must have been even more difficult. We can by their actions see that they were going to stop at nothing to get their friend to Jesus. Let’s look at a few things that didn’t stop these persistent friends.

· Physical strain – carrying their friend the whole way to where Jesus was. Lifting him to the rooftop. Devising a way and lowering him through the roof.

· Emotional strain – Selfish crowed not willing to let them through. Disrupting the preaching of Jesus.

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