Stronger Together

I am hoping that this is a day that we will never forget. God has been doing a work in my heart since we started this church. God wants our church to follow the example of Jesus and fulfill His Great Commission through His power and authority in our city. This means we are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons. I firmly believe that what we read in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament is still happening today. When we go after God to know Him and truly understand who we are in Christ, we will begin to do the things that Jesus did.

We have been praying for God to heal Piper’s back for the past year. She is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday. God can use surgery to straighten her spine and that would be okay, but I know that God can heal her and she can avoid surgery altogether. I want to see Jesus glorified through her healing. I want to see faith and expectancy for healing to grow in Resonate and in Sioux Falls. I am ready for people to encounter the love and power of God. God put this story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man on my heart this past week. I hope this message will build our faith as we pray for God to heal Piper’s back. I hope this is a day that will launch us forward into God doing powerful work in and through our lives.

Background: Jesus was in Capernaum. He went to the synagogue to teach the people about the Kingdom of God. He encountered a man who was demonized and set him free from this demonic spirit. This is how those in attendance responded to what they had just witnessed.

Mark 1:27-28: Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.

Jesus went on throughout the region of Galilee and continued to preach about the Kingdom of God. Many people were healed and set free from demonic spirits. Word spread quickly about Jesus and people flocked to wherever Jesus showed up.

Jesus later healed a man with leprosy and crowds grew even bigger.

Mark 1:45: But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.

Jesus could no longer enter any town without being surrounded by large crowds of people . This leads me to the text I will be preaching on.

I. Jesus heals a paralyzed man

Mark 2:1-12: When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

Some observations from this text:

  1. Things changed quickly from the last time that Jesus was in Capernaum. The house that Jesus was staying at was probably Simeon Peter’s and it was filled with people and even had people outside the house trying get close to Jesus.

  2. This was a big obstacle for the four men trying to get their friend to Jesus. They refused to give up. They went to the roof, made a hole, and lowered their friend to the feet of Jesus.

  3. Jesus saw their faith. This was more than the action of lowering their friend through the roof. He saw their hearts and it was full of faith in Him and because of that, He was able to heal this man.

  4. Jesus’ initial response was to forgive this man of His sin. Then He healed the man. This proved that He was sent by the Father and that He had the authority to forgive sin.

    • This also shows that Jesus’ full Gospel message of salvation is the forgives of sins, healing, and deliverance. We need to minister to all the people this way.

  5. Jesus always preached the Gospel message with the demonstration of power. He was proving that He was sent from heaven and that God’s Kingdom had come to earth.

Mark 2:12: And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

These people had never seen anything like this until this moment.

Mark 16:15-18: And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

We can learn something from these four men and be willing to bring others before Jesus at all costs. Sometimes people can’t get there on their own, and we need to help them. There will always be obstacles and when we attack things as a church family, we will keep finding alternative routes to get to Jesus. We need to pray and believe as if we are the people who need the touch from the Lord. God is moved by this kind of love.