Who will bear the Stretcher?
Matthew 9:1-8 / Mark 2:1-12
We see from time to time somebody on a gurney being taken from either one place in a hospital to another, or we see them being took from their homes to the hospital.
When we see this, there is a sort of sympathy or we feel a bit sorry for those on the stretcher because we know, they need help. In one form or another, they need help.
When we see this, we know the people are being taken to where they can get help. You’ve never seen a person on a stretcher going in the wrong direction. If you have, it’s because somebody has lost the route, not because they don’t know where the help is.
We have been through last years Y2K, and the big election of 2000. And we are getting ready to go into another New Year.
But there are some problems that are still going on with people. And they may be waiting for time to take care of it, but the years just keep clicking away. What we need today, and in the New Year ahead, are stretcher-bearers. People who have the hope, faith, and love along with the willingness to work.
If I could name these 4 men who brought this guy to Jesus, that’s what I would name them, Faith, Hope, Love, and Work.
These men were deeply concerned about their friend and wanted to see him get help. They believed that Jesus could help him. Suppose the one in the stretcher was a friend, a family member, maybe even a stranger, but suppose it was your Church, would you be a stretcher-bearer?
They didn’t simply pray about it, but they had work right in there to help. They did not permit difficult circumstances to discourage them. They dared to be different.
It would have been so easy for them to say there is no use trying today to get him to Jesus, maybe tomorrow.
I want you to notice what Jesus did in this situation.
1---He looked down. He saw the man lying on his bed and he immediately went to the heart of his problem, sin. Jesus forgives the man, why? Forgiveness meets the greatest need, costs the greatest price, brings the greatest blessing, and has the most lasting results.
2---He looked around. He saw the critics who came to spy on him. These people never came with open minds or open hearts, wanting to really know the truth. They came with critical minds wanting to trap him up in his speech. He gave them front row seats I believe.
3---He looked within. He gave them something to ponder, which is easier, to heal a man or to tell him he is forgiven? What was did on the outside was just proof of what he did on the inside. They knew only God could forgive, and they were right, but Jesus is God the Son. Jesus did it not only in front of His friends, but His enemies as well.
But I want you to focus on those four men who brought this man to Jesus. These are the people we should want to be in the year ahead. If we are, we can see God not only do a few things here at Cazy, but lots of things here at Cazy. But if you are not one of these mentioned here, this year will be just like the last year for you.
Lot’s of people are like these four men, but still they are different. Plenty have faith, hope, love and works, but they love to do other things, have faith that somebody will do them, hope nobody asks them to do it, and will work really hard at avoiding what they should be doing.