Summary: The greatest need in our ever increasingly needy world is for Christians & Churches to make a difference in the lives of people. The mission of the church is for each of us to find our way into lives of hurting people & introduce them to the sufficiency o
The Gospel of Mark #4 – “Whatever it Takes!”
1. ILL – Down on his luck, British writer Michael Arlen went to New York in 1944. To drown his sorrows he paid a visit to the famous restaurant “21.” In the lobby, he ran into film producer Samuel Goldwyn, who offered the somewhat impractical advice that he should buy racehorses. Arlen then met Louis B. Mayer, an old acquaintance, who asked him what were his plans for the future. “I was just talking to Sam Goldwyn —” began Arlen. “How much did he offer you?” interrupted Mayer. Arlen hesitated. “Not enough,” he replied evasively. “Would you take $15,000 for 30 weeks?” asked Mayer. “Yes,” Arlen answered without hesitation. That chance encounter was just what Michael Arlen needed.
2. So was the encounter experienced by the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12. But his meeting with Jesus wasn’t by chance. It occurred through the loving devotion of his close friends. They weren’t about to miss the opportunity to bring him to Jesus, & as a result this man experienced one of the Bible’s great miracles.
3. Mark 2:1-12 (read)
4. Mark wastes no time as he portrays the Son of Man busily engaged in His ministry.
5. We’ve already witnessed Him as He dealt with demons, healed many who were sick & even miraculously healed a leper from his dreaded disease.
6. Unfortunately, much of present day ministry, including the typical mission of the local church is far removed in spirit, practice, & effectiveness from the earthly ministry of Christ.
7. He arrived in a world that was very much like ours. It was a world that is filled with needy, hurting, and hopeless people. **Technology may be different, but not peoples needs.**
8. He made a difference in the lives of those that he touched & in the lives of those that he taught. The difference was recognizable & life changing.
9. The greatest need in our ever increasingly needy world is for Christians & Churches to make a difference in the lives of people.
10. The mission of the church is for each of us to find our way into lives of hurting people & introduce them to the sufficiency of God's grace & the greatness of His salvation.
11. What we really need is commitment – a commitment to do whatever it takes to grow in our relationship with God & to pass on the good news to others.
12. We’ll see this morning the account of five young men who certainly understood the meaning of doing “whatever it takes.”
I. The Ministry of Jesus – Vs. 1-2
By now, the crowds were enormous & an ever-increasing number of needy people rushed to be near the One who could bring healing & hope to the hurting soul.
A. The power of His ministry: prayer – Mark 1:35
1. Remember last week that we learned that the secret to Jesus power was his prayerful dependence on the Father.
2. Luke 5:13 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
3. Heb. 5:7 “During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”
4. So many things clamor for our attention & we often run ourselves ragged trying to attend to them. Like Jesus, we need to realize that our strength comes from God & we can only be strengthened by spending time with Him!!
B. The priority of His ministry: preaching – vs. 2
1. Jesus could have used this opportunity to increase His popularity. He could have performed a few miracles & the people would have been eating out of His hands.
2. Yet, instead, “He preached the Word to them!”
3. It is clear to me that to Jesus, the message was far more important that the miracles.
4. Preaching was central to the life & ministry of the Lord Jesus – the same should be true for the church!
5. 2 Tim. 4:2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.”
6. We should pray that our church will stay focused on the message!
II. The Men of Faith – Vs. 3-4
These men were willing to do whatever it takes to bring their friend to Jesus. However, they had to overcome some obstacle to do it! *What did they have to overcome?
A. They had to overcome convention
1. We don’t know what kinds of medical treatment this man sought to treat his condition. He had probably at least been to the doctors of his day.
2. So when these men heard that Jesus had returned to town, they figured it was time to move beyond the conventional means of medicine and bring their friend to Jesus.