Gospel of Mark Chapter Two
(Part 1)

Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that we should be servants of God, as Jesus was. Today, we hope to discuss Jesus' power over paralysis and a tax collector.

Body:

Read Mark 2:1-12

4. Over Paralysis. Jesus is preaching the word is an overcrowded house in this section of the Gospel of Mark. A paralyzed man is brought to Him through the roof by four men. Jesus heals the man because of their faith and in spite of the resistance of the religious leaders.

Questions/Applications –

What should believers do, in light of the importance of inviting and bringing people to Christ?

- Notice in vss. 1-4 the great effort given to get the people connected to Jesus. First, many people told many people about what Jesus was doing. We should all be witnesses of what God is doing. We should witness about what God is doing in our lives and in our church.

Second, some people need to be brought to the Lord. Some are too heavy for us, so we need to get some friends to help us.

Let's work on developing relationships that will help us get people connected to Jesus. It may be a aunt and several cousins, several co-workers, or several bowling buddies. Let's get in the habit of inviting and bringing loved ones with us to Christ.

Third, sometimes we have to tear some stuff up to get people connected to Jesus. Sometimes we have to find ways around the people, so we can get people to Jesus.

On one hand, that calls for creative and hard work on the side of the “bringers” and a great deal of understanding on the side of those who make up the crowd. In other words, some people need to be brought around all of the churchy stuff and meet Jesus.

Jesus can help them find their place in the community. But without Jesus, some are simply hindered by the community. Let's seek the wisdom and courage to do what it takes to get people connected to Jesus.

What should believers do, in light of the importance of sharing the Word of God with the crowd?

- Notice in vs. 2 of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus preached the Word of God to the crowd. It is important to do the right thing with the crowd when they come.

There is nothing greater than helping the people develop faith in God. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Singing is great, but often we cannot even hear the words.

Being a loving community is very important, but without the word and faith, it will be very difficult to maintain. Let's work on sharing the Word of God with those who come.

This idea fuels the need for the Pastor to be up preaching at 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon and then for members to come through the Membership Orientation course on their way to a Bible study. You can help by being a supportive example and encouraging others to do the same.

What should believers do, in light of the need for forgiveness and understanding God's actions towards our desire to be healed?

- Notice in vss. 5, 10-11 of this section of the Gospel of Mark, that Jesus is able to forgive sins and heal sickness. First, our greatest need is to make sure we are right with God. Sin separates us from God.

For our text to teach that Jesus forgives sin should give us great consolation. We can confess our sins to a God who is willing to forgive all of them.

We should strive to live right; however, we can seek forgiveness as we work on the stoppage of our sins. The unforgiveable sin will be discussed at another time, but let me at least say that if you are convicted by your sin and seek forgiveness then you are not guilty of the unforgiveable sin.

I believe that the unforgiveable sin is the sin of rejecting the Holy Spirit's urging us to confess our sins, accept God's forgiveness, and move on with our lives. Let's confess our sins, accept God's forgiveness, and move on with our lives.

Second, the healing of the man's body was almost an afterthought. God doesn't always heal our bodies. When He does, we should praise the Lord. When He doesn't, we should trust that He knows what is best for us. Let's trust God's wisdom in healing our bodies.

What should believers do, in light of how people should be more important than rules and procedures?

- Notice in vss. 6-7 of the Gospel of Mark that the teachers of religion (i.e., Pharisees) were more concerned with the Law than the man in this section of the Gospel of Mark.  Let's be more like Jesus than like the Pharisees; that is, let's be more concerned with people than with rules and traditions.

On one side, we need rules and procedures. But on the other hand, sometimes we have too many rules and procedures, our rules and procedures can be outdated, and sometimes, we need to make exceptions to our rules and procedures.

What should believers do, in light of how God knows our hearts?

- Notice in vs. 8 that Jesus knows our heart. We may be able to fool one another with our outward behaviors, but God knows our hearts. Therefore, we should work on keeping our hearts right, which will include keeping our behavior right.

Prayerfully, studying and obeying God's Word with the support of other believers will help us along our way. Remembering that Christianity is a love religion will help us with our hearts.

What should believers do, in light of the importance of enthusiastic praise?

- Notice in vs. 12 that the people praised God, in light of the many marvelous things that they had seen. When we see and think about what God has done, we should praise Him. Too often our worship services are too dry, in light of our claiming to worship a god as great as our God.

We need to work on more enthusiastic worship. It should be enthusiastic because God deserves it, and because it helps others (see I Cor. 14:26, 11-12). We should not be dry in the corporate worship service because of our own self-centeredness.

Thinking about what God has done for us, what He is doing for us, and what He promises to do for us should move us to worship Him with enthusiasm.

Read Mark 2:13-20

5. Over a Tax Collector. Jesus calls Levi the tax collect and spends time with sinners. The Pharisees ask Jesus' disciples about Jesus' spending time with sinners. Jesus talks about how He came to heal the sick, not the healthy.

 Jesus also talks about in this section of the Gospel of Mark how His disciples can fast after He leaves, but while He is present, they should enjoy His presence.

Questions/Applications –

What should believers do, in light of how leaders chose helpers and helpers should be willing to follow?

- Notice in vs. 14 that Jesus calls a tax collector to be His disciple, and the tax collector followed immediately. First, there was no election. Jesus chose Levi for His own reasons. We should pray for God to lead our leaders in choosing great helpers.

Second, Levi followed immediately. Too often we have to put too much work into recruiting people to do work around the church. It is a privilege and not just a chore to serve the Lord. Let's act like it, by serving immediately.

Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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