Jesus And Sharing My Faith (Mark 2)

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EXAMINE       Mark 2                        Jesus and Sharing My Faith

To bring others to Jesus we must be sharing the word (Mark 2:2). [Jesus sees crowds]

Jesus was preaching the word and people knew where to go, that’s why there was a crowd. Jesus’s preaching and ministry was increasing in influence (Mark 1:21-28, 32-34, 37-39). “Everyone is looking for you!” Mark 1:37. His ministry grew so much that “he could no longer openly enter a town” (v.45).

In Capernaum, Jesus returned ministering in a home, preaching the word to a growing crowd. Some in the crowd were there to listen and learn, others to be helped and healed, while still others as the scribes to question and critique (2:6). Jesus responded to His critics with credibility – the proof of Jesus’s ability to forgive sins was in the proof of the man’s new ability to walk after being paralyzed.

  • Sometimes in life when you are doing a good thing, people will be critical rather than constructive. When that happens, choose the following habits:
    • Channel your emotions. We are often tempted to respond emotionally and get self-defensive. Our emotions can be a friend or foe and we have to learn how to not let emotions control us but channel them appropriately.
      • Abraham Lincoln was most critiqued POTUS and often wrote letters in response to critics but instead of mailing them he stuffed them in a drawer. That’s a wise leader.[1]
    • Coached by your critics. Listen with a discerning ear; or eat the fish and spit out the bones. In other words, take what they say and if there is any truth to their message then let your critic be your coach.

Likewise, the four friends likely had to convince the paralytic to allow them to take him to Jesus. We probably focus on the conversations about Jesus that took place after the healing. But can you imagine the conversations about Jesus before the healing? Who knows how many days they were planting seeds and conversations that took place to convince the paralytic and implement the plan of taking him to see Jesus? In a moment, tonight was the night and they took action.

  • We too need to share the word to bring people to Jesus.
  • Share the word with our lips.
    • Directly: Lost people are more amazed at our silence than offended by our speaking. People who truly know Jesus are unable to stop speaking about what they have seen and heard (Acts 4:20).[2]
    • Indirectly with gospel hints.
      • I couldn’t survive/thrive without God’s grace and prayer.
      • I’ll be praying for you in ____ circumstance.
  • Questioning Evangelism
    • Would it be ok for me to share with you one of my life’s purposes?
    • What brings you joy in life? Can I share my source of joy?
    • Where do you turn when you face life’s most challenging circumstances?
    • Do you ever wonder how people get through life without knowing God hears our prayers?
    • Would you say you’re a spiritual person? Could I share briefly with you my faith spirituality?
    • A lot of people have various views of Jesus. Would you say you know who Jesus is or still in the process of discovering? Would it be ok for me to share who I’ve discovered Jesus is by reading the Bible?
    • What do you think God says/thinks when He looks at you? I believe God thinks about how much He loves you. Can I share how I know that to be true and how you can know it with confidence too?
  • Share the word with our life.
    • We open our mouths to talk about God’s love and we live our lives to reflect God’s truth, and our neighbors see the light of Jesus shown and shared in our life (Matthew 5:16).[3]
    • Our public influence is built on the foundation of private integrity. Christians will never have the impact it desires if hypocrisy rules over honesty.
  • Participating in a church that shares the word.
    • A Christian cannot influence others to know Christ if they are not part of the bride of Christ. Yes, there is the universal church of all those who trust in Jesus, but they are only known by their participation in the local church (Matthew 16:19-20); besides you cannot be devoted to Jesus but dismiss His bride.
  • Write names of 3 people that God is burdening you to share the gospel over the next 3 months.

 

To bring others to Jesus we must be involved in lives (Mark 2:3). [Jesus sees creative faith]

We do not know who these four men were. There is an assumption that these men were friends of the paralytic, based on their perseverance to get him to Jesus. Regardless, we know these men saw/knew the paralytic man was in need and they chose not to be a spectator but to step up to serve.

The four men carried the paralytic man on a mat to the front door of a house. Since they could not maneuver their way through the crowd, they chose to climb on top of the house roof, dig an opening, and then lower the man down where Jesus was standing.

All of this took

  • Effort. Relationships are not easy. They take work. Likewise, ministering to needs of people often make life more complicated and time consuming. But when you care about someone, and when you trust Jesus, you know all the work is worth the effort.
  • Risk. These men were bold. They carried a paralytic man not knowing if their efforts would be rewarded. They took the dangerous risk to carry the paralytic man on top of a roof and then to dig a hole in someone’s roof that they didn’t own, and then to lower the paralytic man into the midst of a crowded house. All sorts of challenges needed to be overcome, all sorts of problems could have arisen, all sorts of complaints were likely issued, but these men risked.“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    Our lives have a choice. We can retreat or risk.[4]

Retreating is living a life that runs away from significance. It swims in the superficiality of our culture. It coasts through daily relationships and activities.  It is wandering and wasting opportunities as you cling to a life of convenience and comfort. It stays safe and secure by never touching the serious issues of life.

Risk is a decision that Jesus is everything. Jesus is worthy of it all. This life races toward eternal significance. It recognizes that Jesus has created us for a greater purpose than any material possession or prize in this world. This life is not wasted but daily dies to selfish ambitions, hopes and plans. It is desperate for grace from God and compassion for others. It risks everything because nothing is really owned to begin with – but Christ (Philippians 3:7-10).
Risk is right. To release the pursuits, possessions, pleasures, safety, and security of this world in order to follow Jesus wherever He leads, no matter the cost, is not sacrificial as much as it is smart. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot). Our deepest delight is in God’s great glory.

  • To get involved in the lives of others we need to
    • Listen
      • Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
      • Ask someone who knows you well how you can grow to be a better listener.
    • Learn
      • Read or get out of the ministry (John Wesley / Charles Swindoll).
      • Learning occurs through listening and observing.
    • Love
      • Ask God to break your heart for what breaks His; to increase our compassion and to see people through His eyes.
      • Love demands a response because there’s no such thing as aloof love; participatory vs passive.
      • Love includes prayer to the Father who loves more fully with abundance of resources.
  • What are the needs?
    • Red Water vs Blue Water (Alan Hirsch)
    • Transition, Tension, or Trial
    • 9Arts will train us to see people and share Jesus.

 

The friends could not get their friend through the crowd to see Jesus. So, they adopted a “whatever it takes” mentality. They went to the outside roof and made a hole to lower their friend to inside the house. I wonder how the friend was able to persuade the other friends of his idea. And, how do you think the paralytic responded to the news? Or, what about the crowd and how Jesus initially responded? It seems Jesus responded with admiration of their faith.

MARK 2Alvin Reid says, “It’s funny how we take risks about things that don’t matter. We will try a new food, workout, or outfit. We love to watch people who take risks on TV or on the Internet. But too many of us would rather be unhappy or uncertain; for the believer the steps of faith we take – though often uncertain in the moment – actually make us grow, which creates a more certain faith and joy. Living for Jesus implies living a life of risk; it’s time to start living.”[5]

  • Creative evangelism comes from faith… believing Jesus at His word and that God loves the person more than we do.
  • Creative evangelism comes from urgency.
  • Creative evangelism faces obstacles but overcomes them with passion.
  • Creative evangelism comes from group participation.

 

APPLY/THINK

[Jesus sees the cross]

Ultimately, this text isn’t about sharing our faith as much as it is in seeing Jesus.

 

  • Jesus is the one whom attracts people.
    He spoke wisdom insights into life, spirituality, and people. He was also genuine in care for people.

    • Jesus cares and loves people. He spends time with those who are sick and sinful (Mark 2:17).
    • The church must not hide Jesus but be His hands and feet to be Immanuel – God among people.

 

  • Jesus is the one who has the ability to help and heal our earthly pains.
    Sometimes God’s help will come through means of enabling endurance through suffering; while other times God’s healing comes through ordinary or extraordinary means for removing the suffering. We cannot fully understand why God chooses to deal with individual or global suffering in this world. But we do know God gives present help and promises full healing in the future kingdom.

    • He relieves burdens. He stills the storm and gives peace in our panic.

 

  • Jesus is the one who has the authority to forgive sins. MARK 2-12
    • Sins were atoned through offerings in the temple; but Jesus forgave the man in public setting.
    • “We never saw anything like this!” (2:12) Jesus gives forgiveness and freedom.
      • Illus: If A4 hits A1 & A2 and A3 enters and says “I forgive you A4”, you can imagine what will happen next from A1 & A2. A1 & A2 will quickly respond that A3 cannot forgive because she wasn’t the one whom was offended. You can only forgive sin if you were offended.
      • Jesus can forgive sin because all sin is against God (Psalm 51:4).
    • We must run, walk, climb, or crawl to Jesus – do whatever we can to get to Him and spend time with Him. He has the answers for our life. And do whatever we can to get others to Him too.

 

 

 

[1] https://growingleaders.com/blog/learning-to-eat-the-fish-and-spit-out-the-bones/

[2] Adapted quote from Alvin Reid, Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out, p.13, 15.

[3] Adapted from Reid, pp.15-16.

[4] https://growinggodlygenerations.com/2014/09/09/risk-new-sermon-series-septoct-2014/

[5] Reid, p.19.

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