Monday, May 13, 2013

Through the roof worship

Mark 2:1-12

It all began when a man with leprosy was healed by Jesus (Mark 1:40-45). This man went out spreading the news and it spread fast. He couldn't help himself. People kept asking, “Where's you leprosy?

Jesus would now draw a crowd wherever he went. Many, however, were motivated for selfish reasons. Some came for a cure and others out of curiosity. When Jesus returned to Capernaum, the crowd was so great that it was standing room only – outside the door (Mark 2:1-2).
Today there are churches with hundreds and even thousands in attendance. Just as in Jesus' day many go to church for self-centered reasons: personal blessings, programs, entertaining worship, etc. In this passage in Mark's gospel, the crowd prevented a man in need of healing from getting to Jesus. The people were there to have their own needs met and were unconcerned about others. The Christian satire website,, posted a fake news release about a mega-church that was downsizing. The fictional church sent a letter to Christians who attended the seeker service declaring that they needed to step up in their participation or worship somewhere else. They were being accused of being freeloaders standing in the way of evangelism.

This tongue-in-cheek look at church life points to the fact that people who wish to honor God make personal sacrifices for the gospel. Able-bodied followers of Christ ought to park in the far spaces so new comers will find a convenient spot. Space should be left in the back rows for people who arrive late or unsure of what the will encounter in the worship service. We need to always be alert to the need around us so we don't crowd out the people who need Jesus.

This paralyzed man had four friends willing to carry him to Jesus. They were determined. They had carried their friend this far and would not let the crowd deter them. They carried him to the roof, cut a hole and lowered him down while Jesus was preaching. They boldly believed that Jesus could help their friend and would not let anything stop them (Mark 2:3-4).

God needs people of faith and determination who will work together to bear another's burdens so that others may find the salvation and wholeness that only Jesus can provide. Do you want to be part of the crowd or do you want to be an agent of change; a soul winner?

Jesus saw the faith of the four friends and forgave the paralytics sins (Mark 2:5). No mention of the paralytic's faith is mentioned. The Bible teaches that Jesus is present whenever 2 or 3 gather in his name. Also, that the prayer of the righteous is effective, especially when two agree.

The power that transformed the paralytic is available to us today but we need the faith of the faithful four.

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