Photo: El Bee’s restaurant – always a good fill 🙂
IX. The Sermon: The Crowd, the Critics and the Captivated – Rev. Christopher Robins, Senior Minister, St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Atlanta – The Sermon Passage: Mark 2:1-12
Jesus heals a man while he is in the middle of teaching because the man’s friends have lowered him through the roof of the house he is teaching.
The big idea: Markis asking us a key question that cuts us deeply: after seeing Jesus, are you part of the crowd, are you with the critics, or are you part of the captivated?
I. The crowd
The crowd sees and takes in three things about Christ:
A. His Insight. What sort of a person can read the thoughts of those in the room. How frightening would that be?
B. His Power. Christ, as creator of the world, knows the deep scientific realities behind this man’s disease. Matter can never be created or destroyed. Christ’s power is on display as the universe’s power could not contain this man’s sins are forgiven.
C. His granting tender access. He is not annoyed or distracted like we would be if we were in the middle of teaching and someone opened the roof and dropped in a lame person.
This lame man comes to Christ who eclipses all others in the room. That is how we come to Christ – not be specifying what we say no to but by the lover of our soul eclipsing all other affections.
The Midwest is full of people who have resigned to just being in the crowd. They have paid their dues and just go through the motions of church.
II. The critics
They are always contemplating from a distance the things of Christ. These church leaders were not captivated but skeptical.
III. The captivated
Learn from these men who wrote the gospel how to be captivated. Learn from these men bringing their lame friend how to be captivated.
A. These men ripped of the roof! They did not accept barriers.
B. AND it says that they ripped the roof off TOGETHER. The gospel does not say that Jesus saw his faith, the faith of this lame man, but it says THEIR faith. Good news and gospel power comes in the plurals.
C. They tear off the roof of the box. This is messy. We don’t like when people rip the roof off our worship service. People need to be feeling welcome here, no matter what they look like, don’t look like, or should be like.
We have a way to worship Christ now that does not embarass us anymore. How would we respond if someone balls during worship? If someone cries in repentance on their knees? Would we be annoyed? All we have done is lock people out of the kingdom because we feel it is OUR kingdom.
What would it be like for us to say WOW to what we see of Jesus and then drop everything? Some of us who are followers of Christ it has been a long time since we have been captivated.
Come… cry out to him to be captivated!
1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he said to the paralytic- 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”