"Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:2-4
This is just a great story in every way!
I want to focus on another aspect of the story. I want to call your attention to the four men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus!
Are you concerned about bringing your friends to Jesus?
These men show how to do it!
Bringing your friend to Jesus takes a concern. These four cared enough about their needy neighbor that they came up with a plan to carry him to Jesus!
How can you say you are concerned about a friend if you don't have a plan for getting him to Jesus?
Bringing you friend to Jesus takes a conviction. These men had a strong belief that their paralyzed neighbor needed to be saved and healed. They also had a firm belief that Jesus could heal their friend if they could somehow take him to Jesus. Their conviction was demonstrated by their actions.
Do you have a friend or family member who needs to be saved? Do have a strong conviction that unless they are touched by Jesus they will perish eternally? Are you ready to act on that conviction?
Bringing your friend to Jesus takes commitment. These men had to take time and effort to get their friend's bed carried to the house where Jesus was speaking. After they carried this friend on his bed all the way across town their commitment was challenged when they discovered there was no way to get through the crowd and into the house. What now? Should they give up and go back home? No! They were committed enough to carry their need friend up the back steps and onto the roof, then tear a hole in the roof and then carefully lower the bed down into the house.
Do you have a friend or a family member who needs Jesus? How committed are you to carrying him to Jesus?
Bringing your friend to Jesus may take cooperation. These men obviously all cared about the spiritual and physical welfare of their neighbor. Each of them wanted to see their friend meet Jesus. But due to his situation and circumstances none of them could get their neighbor to Jesus by themselves. To get his man to the Savior was going to require the cooperation of all four. Because they were willing to work together their friend was healed and saved by Jesus!
Christians are not called to be lone rangers. We need each other's talents, gifts, support and encouragement. By cooperating in worship, giving, prayer and serving we can get more people to Jesus than any of us can working alone!
In part, this is what this Sunday's Pigskin & Pig-picking event is about!
Getting people to Jesus is the calling that God has given to His followers. It is the Great Commission not the good idea or the best option!
Be inspired by the example of these four men who had enough concern, enough conviction, enough commitment and enough cooperation to get their neighbor to Jesus.
Be inspired enough to follow that example!