Sermon #6††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Series: Mark

 

††††††††† Title: ††††††††† Four Fantastic Friends

††††††††† Text:†††††††††† Mark 2:1-12

††††††††† Readings:Office:†† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Auditorium:

††††††††† Subject:†††† Our Lordís Ministry At Capernaum

††††††††† Date:††††††††† Sunday Afternoon - January 5, 1996

††††††††† Tape #†††††† T-26

 

††††††††† Introduction:

 

††††††††† The title of my message this afternoon is Four Fantastic Friends. You will see why when we read the text. Blessed is the person who has just one friend like the four the man in our text had.

 

Mark 2:1-12"And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. (2) And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. (3) And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. (4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (6) But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) (11) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."

 

††††††††† Without any introduction, I want to show you four very important lessons from these verses. May God the Holy Spirit, whose words we have read, be our Teacher today. May he be pleased to take the things of Christ revealed here and show them to us, effectually applying them to our hearts, that we may both be instructed in grace and that we may be enabled to worship our God.

 

I.      The first obvious lesson to be learned from these verses is that Those Who Live Under But Do Not Believe The Gospel Are The Greatest And Most Blameworthy Of All Sinners in The World.

 

††††††††† This is a truth that is strikingly illustrated by the history of Capernaum. No other place in Palestine enjoyed so many displays of our Lordís miraculous power, so much of his presence, or so many words of instruction from his lips as the city of Capernaum. After he left Nazareth, our Master dwelt at Capernaum (Matt. 4:13). Capernaum was the headquarters of his ministry. His sermons were often heard there. His miracles were performed there. He was both well-known and very popular there. The people of Capernaum gathered in great crowds to see him and to hear him. They were astonished at his power, dazzled by his words, and awed by his Person.

 

Mark 2:1-2"And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. (2) And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them."

 

††††††††† These would be very delightful things to read were it not for one sad, sad fact: - Nothing that our Master said or did seems to have had any lasting, spiritual effect upon the hearts of the people at Capernaum.

 

††††††††† Isnít that amazing? The men and women of Capernaum lived under the bright, dazzling, noonday brilliance of the Sun of Righteousness. Yet, they were unconverted. Rather than being melted to repentance, they were hardened against Christ by their spiritually barren familiarity with him.

 

††††††††† It was against this city that our Lord Jesus pronounced his heaviest curse and condemnation.

 

Matthew 11:23-24"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (24) But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

 

††††††††† Hear these things and be warned. Never was there a people so highly favored as the men and women of Capernaum. Never was there a people more hardened against the gospel. Never was there a people more severely condemned by our God. Let us beware of walking in their steps!

 

The same gospel which is a savor of life unto life to those who believe it, is a savor of death unto death to those who believe it not! The same fire that melts the wax hardens the clay. None are so hardened as those who are gospel hardened. From such hardness may God be pleased to keep us by his grace.

 

II. The paralyzed man in our text shows us the second very important lesson. Great Afflictions, Trials, and Sorrows Are Often The Forerunners of Great Blessings.

 

Mark 2:3-5"And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. (4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."

 

††††††††† I do not for a moment doubt that this poor, impotent man spent many hours in every day of his miserable life asking, ďWhy did God do this to me? If there is a God in heaven, if he is good and wise and gracious, why did he give me these bum legs and mangled feet?Ē

 

Neither do I doubt for a moment that from this day forward, he never ceased to thank God for that lifelong trouble which at last brought him to Christ and brought the forgiveness of sin to his soul! He would never have been brought by his friends to the Master had he not been in such a miserably helpless condition.

 

ďGod moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform.

He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.

 

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill,

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His sovereign will.

 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread,

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.

 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense;

But trust Him for His grace.

Behind the frowning providence,

He hides a smiling face.

 

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour.

The bud may have a bitter taste;

But sweet will be the flower.

 

Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan His work in vain.
God is His on interpreter

†† And He will make it plain.Ē - William Cowper

 

††††††††† Children of God, the paths of our lives are well ordered; for they are ordered by our heavenly Father, who is too wise to err, too strong to fail, and too good to do wrong.

 

III. Thirdly, we learn from the behavior of this manís friends that Faith In A Mighty God and Savior Produces Diligence In The Use of Means.

 

††††††††† Look at verses three, four, and five again.

 

Mark 2:3-5"And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. (4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."

 

††††††††† The Holy Spirit does not tell us who these men were, where they lived, or what their occupations were. We know absolutely nothing about them except these five things.

 

A. They had a friend who was in need of mercy.

 

B. They believed that the Lord Jesus Christ could heal their friend of his terrible paralysis.

 

C. They brought their needy friend to the place where Christ was working miracles of mercy.

 

D. They were not deterred by obstacles, hindered by difficulties, or put off by problems.

 

E. They saw their friend saved by the Son of God.

 

††††††††† These four men, Bros. Faithful Fred, Witnessing Willie, Praying Perry, and Diligent Dan, got what they wanted. Their friend was cured, both physically and spiritually. God honored their labors of love which were the fruit of their faith.

 

Mark 2:5"When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."

 

IV. The fourth lesson taught in this passage is the fact that There is One Man, Only One Man In All The Universe Who Has Power on the Earth to Forgive Sins and Speak Peace To The Hearts of Men.

 

Mark 2:6-12"But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) (11) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."

 

††††††††† The Son of Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, has power on earth to forgive sins, because he who is the Son of man is also God the Son.

 

        No angel can forgive sins.

 

        No mere man can absolve the guilty. No Pope! No Priest!

 

        No Church or denomination can pardon the guilty.

 

        Not even God himself can forgive sins apart from Christ.

 

        Only the God-man could obtain the forgiveness of sins for us and grant forgiveness to us.

 

††††††††† Christ is the Fountain opened for cleansing from sin. I point you to the Fountain; but I cannot forgive your sin or even pronounce you forgiven. Only Christ can do that. We must go to Christ, go directly to Christ, and go to Christ alone for absolution. He is our only Priest, our only Mediator, our only Advocate, our only Way to the Father.

 

        Godís justice demands satisfaction. Only Christ could give it.

 

        Godís holiness demands perfect righteousness. Only Christ could give it.

 

        Our guilty consciences demand the same, both righteousness and satisfaction. Only Christ can quieten the guilty conscience.

 

Application: ††††† I hope that we will each apply the things taught in these verses to our own hearts.

 

1.   Let us pay for grace that we may profit by the privileges God has given us.

2.   Let us learn to look upon our trials as forerunners of Godís blessings.

3.   May the Lord God give us the kind of grace and faith exemplified in these four fantastic friends.

4.   Let us ever give thanks to God for Christ, our sin-atoning, great High Priest and Advocate, and go to him constantly for the forgiveness of our sins.

Amen.