Summary: In Bringing someone to Jesus, we must: 1)Be Concerned (Mark 2:1) 2) Be Constant (Mark 2:2), 3) Be Co-operative (Mark 2:3), 4) Be Creative (Mark 2:4), 5) Be Confident (Mark 2:5)
If you have ever undertaken a renovation project, one of the most important questions to ask is what you want out of the project. Things like cost, effort, skill and dedication to the work are all important. But if you don’t have an objective to the project, it quickly spins out of control, or grinds to a halt. If you have ever watched something like a hospital under renovation, you will understand. Why do you go to a hospital? It’s not for the magazines, coffee in the café, flowers from the shop or fine hospital cuisine. It’s because you have a physical need. Often in discovering your symptoms, the underlying problem is found.
Jesus could have easily focused on just healing and feeding people. There were plenty of diseases to heal and mouths to feed. But Jesus made it clear that healing and feeding were means, not the ends, of his ministry on earth. He chose a paralyzed man to make his point. Presented with an obvious physical need, Jesus responded by forgiving the man’s sins.
Why should we bring people to Jesus? Although they may lack direction, have lousy marriages, unruly kids, a dead-end job and general malaise, we bring people to Jesus because He is the only person in the universe who can cure people’s greatest problem: The universal sickness of sin and the universal death that will result from it.
In order to bring someone to Jesus, we ourselves must have certain characteristics and determinations. In Bringing someone to Jesus, we must: 1)Be Concerned (Mark 2:1) 2) Be Constant (Mark 2:2), 3) Be Co-operative (Mark 2:3), 4) Be Creative (Mark 2:4), 5) Be Confident (Mark 2:5)
In Bringing someone to Jesus, we must:
1)Be Concerned (Mark 2:1)
Mark 2:1 [2:1]And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. (ESV)
Starting with our own household, the relationship that people have with Jesus is of prime importance. Our concern for them, is the first step in action
In Mark 2:1, after a significant amount of time elapsed since His first visit, Jesus returned to Capernaum; then, a few days later, the people heard that he had come home. The people of Capernaum crowded to hear Jesus, but did not change their hearts.
Please turn to Matthew 11 (p.816)
Capernaum became Jesus’ base of operations while he was in Galilee; thus, Mark referred to this as Jesus’ home (cf.1:14). After/again refers to his previous visit recorded in 1:21. This home may have been the home he set up there with his mother, Mary, or it may have been Simon Peter’s house, where Jesus had stayed on his previous visit to the city and where he had preached and healed many (1:29–34).
Matthew 11:23-24 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (ESV)
• What does this say of our day? We have access to more biblical information from copies of scripture, books, archeological evidence, and thousands of years of testimony to confirm the truth. Yet, people harden their hearts, refuse to see, and devise ways to legitimize their rebellion. Might God say to us as with Capernaum: “it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."
• Our concern for those around us, as reflected in the state of their eternal soul reflecting in the most loving thing possible, bringing people to Jesus, must be our starting place.
Illustration: IN a small country town there was an unbelieving blacksmith. He was a hard-headed, well-read man, strong in argument. An old deacon in the town became deeply interested in this blacksmith and determined to lead him to Christ. He studied up as best he could all the blacksmith’s arguments and the answers to them. When he thought he had all the blacksmith’s arguments and answers at his fingers’ ends, he called on the blacksmith and engaged him in conversation, but the blacksmith was far more than a match for him in argument and in a few moments had fought the old deacon to a standstill. The old deacon knew that he was right, but he could not prove it to the blacksmith. He burst into tears and said, “Well, I cannot argue with you, but I simply want to say, I have a deep spiritual concern for your soul,” and then left the shop.
But soon after the deacon had left the blacksmith shop, the blacksmith went into the house and said to his wife, “The Deacon brought up an argument to-day that I never heard before. He said he had a deep spiritual concern for my soul. What did he mean?” His wife was a canny woman and said, “You had better go and ask him.” The blacksmith hung up his apron and went cross lots to the deacon’s home. You said you had a deep spiritual concern for my soul. Won’t you pray for me?” and the blacksmith broke down and accepted Christ. Real earnestness and love succeed where all argument fails (Torrey, R. A. (1907). Anecdotes and illustrations (15–16). New York: Fleming H. Revell Co.).