Summary: Jesus was clear that our walk should be marked by signs and wonders. What is following you? Is your life “signless”?
We have been talking about signs. We have prayed for signs to be a part of our daily lives. We have expected signs. I believe we have sowed seeds for signs that will continue to bear fruit for years to come. So if you will allow me I want to examine one more sign that followed Jesus and then we will begin some summary of lessons learned next week.
Text: Mark 2:1-12
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. (The Message - A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word.) 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, 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 by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now 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?” 8Immediately 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? 9Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12He 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!”
a. Our lack of hunger for Word results in empty houses and lack of signs.
The house was filled, not because of a miracle show. It was filled to overflow because Jesus was teaching the Word. When was the last time you saw a sanctuary packed because people were starving for the Word? We will pack the building for programs, presentations, perversions, and promises. However, on a “normal” Sunday empty seats soak up good Bible teaching and preaching! Our appetites must change! In order for signs to invade our lives, we must once again become hungry for the Word of God. We must once again run to hear the Word of God. We are waiting on Him to crack the sky while He is waiting on us to crack the BOOK.
Notice that when the Word was in the house, the house was packed. I am committed to seeing this house packed because of the Word that is going forth. Pack it with programs and gimmicks, but the only life change that will really take place is based on the Word that goes forth! If we are really hungry for the Word we will be in the house and we will bring others with us! Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me!” We must lift up the Word of God so that men will be drawn. Don’t lift up Steve. Don’t lift up someone’s gift. Don’t lift up a brand! Lift up Jesus! We won’t have to worry about filling up seats if each of us will get hungry again for the Word! In fact, according to this account our issue will be that we won’t have enough room! We won’t have to worry about seeing signs if we will become hungry for the Word again!
b. Signs will mess up neat little lives and church services!
I am sure the woman that invited Jesus to use her house as a sanctuary had gone out of her way to prepare the room. I bet she had vacuumed, dusted, put everything in order, made sure everything was in place, neat, and orderly. The only problem is that Jesus showed up! When Jesus arrives the roof comes off of the place.
If we are determined to reestablish signs in our lives and in our services, then we must also be prepared that at times the roof will come off and our nice, neat, comfortable, predictable, structured lives and services will be messed up! That means right when you have your budget all figured out for the week or month, Jesus will step in and interrupt that and use your planned out checkbook to meet the need of someone who has been praying for a sign. That means that your comfortable worship experience may be interrupted by a command from God to go and lay hands on someone you don’t know.