Summary: This sermon is thought through differently cause one time or the other we like to make a difference. See if you can make the ’different difference differently...’
Making a difference…!
We all like to be different or show some difference in the thing we say or we do, cause we do not like to typically copy what others do. It is indeed a good one, sometimes early this year one of the lecturers in the department of Social Work, made a phrase for their annual conference and the phrase goes like this – Different difference differently, it sound philosophical isn’t it? But that is how we like to show the difference. Even this morning I am going to preach a different sermon in a different style.
(Get a mat that could be spread on the floor for someone to lie down, ask for one slim volunteer to lie down so that at a later stage it would be easy to carry them around in the mat. Then ask at least 5 of them to volunteer to pass by the lying person on the mat, get their feedback of what would be their reaction to pass by a stranger lying helpless on the street. Then ask someone to read the passage. 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!"
Once the feedback is got we will surely know what kind of reaction each one had, for sure no one would be willing to help because it involves a lot of risk and people never want to go out of the way to help cause the trouble is not worth. But in this passage there were four men who took notice of the paralyzed man and they had the desire to take him to Jesus so that he could be healed. I am sure there are at least three important aspect to make the difference in the life of the others. I would like to bring them as three ‘D’ the first D would be Desire, the second would be Decision and the third D Dedication or Devotion.
DESIRE: to help someone or to do something we need the Desire to do so. I am sure all of us have the desire to do good but the worst part is we have some excuse not to do it. We have a desire to serve the Lord but we do not have time (excuse), we have the desire to give more but only thing we do not have enough or surplus to be given (excuse), we have a desire to pray more but we do not know how to do it, we have pastors who could do it on our behalf (excuse). The list can go on but, these 4 men in the passage had the desire to do something probably because they themselves might have been helped by Jesus. Desire is the starting point it should not have an immature death, it should lead to making a decision.
DECISION: the four men after their desire to help decided to carry the man to the house where Jesus was but the worst awaited them, the house was full no room for any one any more. Let me caution you when desire to do something for God and you make the decision the worst awaits you, it leads to discouragement; like in this case the house was full. Keep to your decision even when the worst awaits, these men were not quitters they decide to do something, that was to lower the man through the roof. I don’t know if they ever asked permission from the paralyzed man to carry around like that. Had I to be in his place I would have requested them not carry since the death on the mat would be better than death from the roof top. The 4 men did not give up they made it through and lowered the man into the house were Jesus was ministering. The perfect desire led them to this untiring Decision.