Summary: Selflessness seems to be a lost virtue. Nonetheless, it is essential that believers make the sacrifice to bring others to the feet of Jesus. At whatever cost.

Hope for the Hurting

Mark 2:1-12 Primary Text

2 Samuel 5:17-20 Complementary Text

17 ¶ But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold.

18 The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

19 And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

20 And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim.

Baalperazim = a breaking forth (breakthrough)

There is a place of breakthrough that the Lord has for you, but the dilemna, many times, is getting to that place.

In the gospel of Mark, we find Jesus retruning from a time of ministry in the desert to Capernaum, his earthly headquarters. Here, he arrives at the house of Peter.

The first thing we notice is that it was noised that Jesus was in the house. It should cause a rumbling and a stirring when people recognize the presence of the Lord.

The crowd gathered in to the point that the place was filled and even the doorway was blocked.

Now here is where we desire to focus on the desperation of getting a breakthrough.

I. 4 DETERMINED ACQUAINTENCES

Here comes a group of unsung heros. We are not told their name, but we learn about their concern and sacrifice for a hurting comrade.

4 is the number of trial and the number of universality. (4 sides to a square, 4 points on a compass, foursquareness in symmetry It literally means = the world at work on earth.

Let us look at some qualities of ther 4 men.

A. They were men of COMPASSION -their hearts went out to this man in his need.

B. They were men of CONVICTION -they believed that he could get some real help if he could get to Jesus.

C. They were men of CREATIVITY -they went beyond the normal and ordinary method of arriving at the presence of Jesus.

D. They were men of COOPERATION -each one worked and walked in coordination and conjunction with the rest. Each one had a corner of the makeshift bed to carry and balance out the weight.

It was NOT a Competition or a case of self-centeredness.

E. They were men of COMMITMENT-they were determined to get their friend to Jesus, even in spite of setbacks.

These guys had at least 3 things in Common

1. Same Friend

2. Same Challenge

3. Same Attitude - whatever it takes

I wonder how much more successful the church would be today if we all worked in this manner to bring the lost and the hurting to the feet of Jesus.

II. Make Room For Christ

The miracle took place where Jesus was. It cannot happen without Him.

We gotta get to Jesus.

Too many are on the outside. Like the church of Laodicea. Jesus is on the other side of the door and they are trying to have church without Him.. Jesus was knocking, waiting for the open door.

III. Overcoming Paralisis

This man had palsy = complete or at least partial immobility. It was basically impossible for him to get to Jesus on his own.

There are multitudes of people in a state of spiritual paralisis:

-chronic fears

-mental anguish

-enormous debts

-overbearing addictions

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

IL.: the little girl went to the big city with her parents. They went in and out of a number of stores. At the candy store, she became hypnotized by the wide assortment of sweets offered. She was so enthralled that she never heard her dad tell her that they had to go on to another store. She stood there alone, not even aware of the danger that she was in without the protection of her daddy.

IL.: there are certain snakes that have the ability of hypnotizing their victims before they make their deadly attack.

IV. Travel with the Healthy, the Sane, and the Holy

1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

The man in our story was fortunate. He had friends with good hearts. But there are so many others out there who have no real friends and need someone who be there for them.

V. Do NOT Be Denied

Persistence will pay off.

-like the Syrophenician woman

It may just be that you will have to do something drastic and out of the ordinary.

You may even ruffle some feathers of those round about you.

How serious are you about getting someone to Jesus? How bad do you want a breakthrough?

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Jesus moved to make this man whole, because of the faith of 4 men. It was not a dead faith. It was very much active.

VI. Remove the Lid of Human Limitations

Whatever the obstacle is, it can be penetrated

Sure, we try to follow a code of ethics; but then there are desperate times that call for desperate measures, and we throw the ethics book out the window.

It seemed that all the normal entrances were blocked and barred; but they had come too far to turn back. They did the unthinkable and broke through the roof to get one soul to the presence of Christ.

Challenges:

Work on winning one or two souls and focus your energies on them. Some want to win a whole community and find it impossible to penetrate the surface.

The same group of people who witnessed the miracle that day were the same ones who had been an obstacle for him to get in the meeting.

He left different than the way he arrived.

Mr. 1:12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

In which group do you belong?

1. the Burdened (the palsied man)

2. the Bearers (the 4 friends)

3. the Bothered (the crowd who had their service interrupted)