Summary: In the Gospels, Jesus encourages us to go on the highways and byways, to go in the valleys and reach to the needs of the people. The world doesn’t need a social Gospel, which is only social, and no Gospel at all. What the world needs is ordinary men like
Hope for the Hurting!
We live in a world full of turmoil, where terrorism, earthquakes, devastations and many other terrible things are gripping our world. There is fear, there is doubt and there is lawlessness. Yet in spite of all these: God needs men or women who are willing to go the distance, to pass the difficulties they are facing by faith in His Powerful Name. Going on the highways and byways, to go in the valleys and reaching to the needs of the people.
As long as we will minister to the needs of the people, we will never lack in fulfilling the calling of God to reach the lost at any cost. The world doesn¡¦t need a social Gospel, which is only social, and no Gospel at all.
What the world needs today is ministry-based evangelism that flows from the heart of God to a lost world. The ultimate goal of every ministry should be to reach the lost and make disciple for Jesus Christ, or we will fail to reach them at their greatest point of need. God by His Spirit will help us to minister and bring hope to the hurting.
Text: Mark 2:1-11
These were days of great excitement in Capernaum. A new teacher with awesome power was in town. The mere mention that he was near was enough to gather a big crowd. When the word spread the news that Jesus was in a certain house, the people came from everywhere, overcrowding the house to capacity.
Suddenly, as Jesus was preaching, there was the noise of an opening in the ceiling. Every eye turned to the ceiling. They saw an opening being made just above where Jesus was. There were four men lowering a mat with a paralytic man laying on it.
Could you imagine the four men¡¦s look on their faces, looking down through the hole to see what Jesus would do? These men have done all that they could; they have brought the paralytic man to Jesus. Now they were trusting in Jesus to do that which only He could do, and that is healing this man.
When Jesus saw their faith, He turned to the paralytic man and said to him, "Son, your sins are forgiven." The Bible reminds us that: "Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." (Psalm 32:2 NIV)
Immediately there was something that took place in that man. When Jesus forgives your sins, He will not remember them no more. The religious leaders were saying to themselves: "Who does this man think He is? He’s offering to forgive sins? Only God can do that! Besides, this man was not brought here for forgiveness, but for healing." You see, when God does something in our lives, Satan the arch enemy of our soul, he will always try to bring fear, doubt and confusion.
Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said: "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." (Mark 2:8b-11 NIV)
The man arose, took up his bed, and walked. It was a glorious hour, one that has many lessons in it for us today.
1). First, we see the hurting - in this case the paralytic man
We will never know the magnitude of the problem of hurting people until we became involved in ministry-based evangelism. As we will reach out to the hearting as Jesus did, we will be able to reach them for Jesus.
Once Billy Graham, in preparation for a crusade, wrote to ask the community leaders for a list of the hurting people for whom he and his team could pray. The leaders sent him a copy of the telephone book. As long as we are ministering to hurting people, we will never lack an audience.
Jesus, in Matthew 25:34-36 says: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
In these verses Jesus revealed His priorities. What are your priorities? You see, a Christian is one in whom Christ Jesus dwells. Are you a Christian? Does Jesus Christ dwell in your heart? Is He the Lord of your Life? If the answers to these questions are true of you, then His concern becomes your concern and that which breaks His heart, breaks your hearts.