We’re starting a new worship service at our church. It starts on April 19th. I’m going to be part of the teaching team. The first series is going to be called “Seriously”. It’s a look at biblical encounters with Jesus.
Remember the story of the paralyzed man lowered from the roof to the feet of Jesus? You find it in Mark 2 but you can’t really understand it until you read Mark 1. That’s my text for week #1. It’s one of my favorite stories. It’s visually rich and hits on some key themes.
The growing reputation of Jesus.
You've got to pay attention to the authority people heard as they listened to Jesus teach.
Everywhere Jesus went he was leaving people amazed and stunned.
Jesus has one of what will prove to be many, many difficult encounters with the religious establishment.
Jesus heals people inside and out. He has little time for evil and wants to free people from sin.
There's something downright inspiring about the folks who carried the paralyzed man to the roof and then lowered him down to Jesus's feet.
Jesus saw the faith of the mat carriers not the faith of the paralyzed man.
People expected Jesus to speak and act.
I’ve been asking myself some questions as I relook at Mark 1 and 2. I’d love to hear how you’d answer them.
Am I ever amazed and stunned by the workings of God?
Is my faith big enough? Do I expect God to speak and act with authority?
Who am I carrying to the feet of Jesus?
Am I so religious that I can no longer see or care about what God is doing outside the box I’ve created for Him?
When I need healing who are my mat carriers?
Do I need to step up my game when it comes to dealing with sin and evil?
I am often too busy to be stunned and amazed.
I want God to speak and act …but all too often I don’t expect it.
Carrying someone to the feet of Jesus is something I do help facilitate …but do I feel the passionate desire to do whatever is necessary to help someone discover the living God?
I have to work hard at not boxing God in because when I do I box myself in. I have to fight hard against drifting into religious ‘stuff’ at the expense of life-giving relationship.
I think there are plenty of people who would carry my mat. Will I let them?
Jesus confronted evil and sin all the time. Why am I so silent when it comes to these things?
What about you?
Are you amazed and stunned by the work of God?
How big is your faith?
Are you so religious that you’ve become tame and tepid?
Got God boxed in?
Who are you praying for –that person you desperately want to meet Christ? Will you go to the mat for that person?
Who’s walking with you in good times and in bad?
Do you believe in the presence of evil and the damage that sin does in people's lives? If you do believe in such things do you speak out when you encounter them?
Would love to hear how you answer these questions. Let me know. You just might help me write my sermon.