Getting Our Friends to Jesus


Mark 2:1–12 (NLT) —
1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 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, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 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. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7 “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 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, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 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!”


We carry on about the daily routines of life thinking about what we think our greatest need is and all around us there is a collision of spiritual and physical needs. The co-worker in the office next to us is paralyzed by anxiety and isn't aware of the hope found in Jesus. Our classmate sitting at the next desk is suffering from loneliness and they don't know of the love of Jesus and how he offers the joy of community.

There is a collision of spiritual and physical needs all around us all the time.

What is needed?

What is needed are confident, compassionate, creative friends that will do whatever it takes to get those with spiritual and physical needs to Jesus.

Confident, compassionate, and creative friends find a way to get their friends to Jesus.

Jesus is making it a priority to preach and teach the Word. This is a central theme in the first part of Mark's gospel.

In this particular story there are two urgent needs. Physical needs were evident. Spiritual needs were ultimate. Our ultimate need is always spiritual.

The religious teachers, scribes are present to contest what Jesus is teaching and in his healing and offering forgiveness of sins.

Jesus refers to himself as Son of man. The most used title for Jesus in the NT is Christ, second Lord, third Son of man and he often refers to himself as son of man. Where does this come from?

Daniel 7:13–14 (NLT) — 13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

This passage from Daniel is a prophetic passage of Jesus and his authority and sovereignty over all the nations of the world.

As we read this story of the seemingly poor, homeless itinerant preacher in the small town of Capernaum, we lose sight of the bigger picture of Jesus' role in all of history, that he is the second person of the trinity and he is the savior of the world. We are encouraged to consider that he is given authority. Authority to read our hearts.  Authority to heal our sicknesses. Jesus has authority to forgive our sins. The Gospel teaches us that the Good news is not that Jesus will heal all our sickness now! The Good news of the Kingdom of God is that Jesus will forgive all your sin forever!

As we consider these four faithful friends we see friends that are confident, compassionate, creative, and contagious.

"I always say that in a way, I hope I can take my wheelchair to heaven with me—I know that‘s not biblically correct, but if I were able, I would have my wheelchair up in heaven right next to me when God gives me my brand new, glorified body. And I will then turn to Jesus and say, “Lord, do you see that wheelchair right there? Well, you were right when you said that in this world we would have trouble, because that wheelchair was a lot of trouble! But Jesus the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. So thank you for what you did in my life through that wheelchair. And now,” I always say jokingly, “you can send that wheelchair to hell, if you want.”Joni Eareckson Tada

Action Step

Write a list of friends that you can be praying for that need to experience the love of Jesus. Then consider some ways you can tell them your story/testimony of how you came to faith in Jesus. Consider how you might invite them to Church at the Grove with you. How can you make a difference in the lives of your friends that are far from God?


Start your prayer time with humility in thanks for God saving you out of sin and the muck of your pre-Christ life. We were all desperate for salvation. Confess your current sin issues and lift up your friends by name. God doesn't take our efforts to pray lightly. He considers it holy and invites us to the throneroom of God. As we move closer to stepping out in faith to build more space there are many people looking in from the outside wondering if anyone in that church really cares about them. There is no more powerful way to show your care than to lift them up in prayer. 
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