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Summary: The word “Friend” is a powerful word, and we all need friends to help us make it through the struggles of life.

Jesus is Amazing: An Amazing Friend

Mark 2:1-17

Introduction

The word “Friend” is a powerful word, and we all need friends to help us make it through the struggles of life.

The book of Proverbs has much to say about friends: A friend loves at all times ... there is a friend who stays

closer than a brother....the sweetness of a friend’s counsel comes from the heart. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24; 27:9)

Our text begins with a courageous act of friendship. Jesus is teaching in a home and crowds of people came to hear him. So much that the house was packed. Four men had a friend on a mat who could not walk. He was dependent on others. Considered a sinner because of his impairment. Seeking healing he knew others had received.But they could not get to Jesus! They went up on the roof. Cut a hole in the roof and lowered their friend in! Jesus saw their FAITH: “Son, your sins are forgiven”. This stirred the religious leaders up. He was being a friend to a sinner. He was offering forgiveness of sins.

Mark 2:8-12 Right away Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 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 so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he told the paralytic— 11 “I tell you: get up, take your mat, and go home.” 12 Immediately he got up, took the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Jesus is AMAZING! Everyone was amazed and praised God. Jesus was a great friend to humanity. He loved everyone.You may have never thought of Jesus as a friend, but you have never had a better friend that Jesus Christ. What makes Jesus such an amazing friend?

1. HE SEES

Mark 2:13-14a Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 Then, passing by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the toll booth

Jesus was busy and had plenty to do, but he never let that keep him from seeing the people around him. In the crowds of people - he saw Levi. Jesus was alway watching…never off duty. He did not dismiss him as impossible / undesirable. Others in the crowd would have not paid attention.

Levi … Matthew … Hated by his own people: Regarded as a traitor Barclay: The Call of the Man Whom All Men Hated. Lane: A Jewish Tax Collector was regarded as an outcast from society: disqualified as a judge or a witness in a court, excommunicated from the synagogue, and in the eyes of the community his disgrace extended to his family. How do you think people spoke to him each day? What would his Twitter account look like? How Did the Romans regard him? Easily replaced. Maybe the kind word from Jesus was the first he heard that day...that month.

Two thoughts here:

Who do you need to see today? Keep your eyes open! Notice people, not ‘jobs’ or ‘failures’. Never discount someone based on snap judgment. Barclay: What a harvest we could gather in if we looked for men for Christ as we walked!

Do you see yourself in Levi? Rejected, ignored, accused - notice that Jesus sees you.

2. HE SPEAKS

Mark 2:14b and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him.

“Follow Me”. Jesus attracted followers with just a few words. But not everyone followed Jesus. Levi did. Barclay: Of all the disciples Matthew gave up most. He, of all of them , literally left all to follow Jesus. The fishermen could go back to the boats. … But Matthew burned his boats completely. With one decision he put himself out of a job forever …. He staked everything on Christ, and he was not wrong. What is Jesus speaking into your life today?

Jesus is our greatest friend because his friendship is not based upon our performance, our perfection, or our

3. HE EATS

Mark 2:15 While he was reclining at the table in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who were following him.

Joyous gathering -celebration, fellowship, smiles. Why? What was it that these people had to be happy? What do you think Matthew told his friends when he invited them over? Matthew’s friends were not high society. He was a

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