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2.THE MAN WHO CAME ON A COT, BUT LEFT IN A TROT
Mark 2:1-12


Before Reading the Passage

This miracle of our Lord, more than any other miracle that He performed, spotlights the deity of the Lord Jesus.

It is really two miracles, for Jesus forgives this man's sins and He also heals his body.

Read the Passage

Let me give you the setting of this miracle. Notice it took place in Capernaum.

In Matthew 9, which records this same miracle, Capernaum is called our Lord's “own city.”

• Jesus was BORN in BETHELEHEM...LIVED His pre-ministry years (nearly thirty) in

NAZARETH...then during His PUBLIC MINISTRY of about three and a half years, He lived in

CAPERNAUM when He was not traveling about the land.

• Capernaum became “His own city” after He was rejected by the people of Nazareth at the beginning of His ministry. You remember that Jesus said that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country (Luke 4:24); ; so He left Nazareth when the people there would not honor and believe Him.

• Jesus did eleven of His miracles in Capernaum.

Capernaum was the hometown of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew.

• Comparing scripture with scripture, the house that Jesus was in was the home of Simon Peter.

• Since Jesus did not have a home – or a place to lay His head – He lived much of the time in Peter's house.

• Earlier Jesus had healed Peter's mother-in-law in this same house.

When the people heard that Jesus was in the house folks began to fill the house to hear Him teach.

So much so that there was standing room only, only to the outside of the house.

In the crowd were both seekers and scorners. The scribes and Pharisees were there, hoping that Jesus would slip up in some way so they could accuse Him.

With this background in mind, I want you to see four groups as we study this encounter with Jesus.

I. The Hurting 2:1-3

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The man was “sick of the palsy.”

Many of the sicknesses that Jesus healed had spiritual implications:

• Leprosy illustrates the defilement and corruption of sin.

• Palsy illustrates the paralysis that sin produces in life. Roman 5:6 “When we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly.”

Luke used the word that means “to be loosed on one side.” The word indicated that he was not born that way; nor was it caused by an accident. It was most likely the result of a stroke that left him paralyzed or some sin that left him paralyzed.

The fall leaves us all spiritually disable and spiritually paralyzed.

II. The Helpers 2:3-4

These four men were a special breed of men.

• I can see them going to the man's house and explaining that Jesus was in the house down the road and Jesus could heal him and make a difference in his life.

• One of them says, “Jesus is so powerful that He gives sight to the blind.” His wife says, “But he's not blind, he can't walk.” Another says, “Jesus is so powerful that He can feed 5,000 with a boy's lunch.” His wife says, “He's not hungry, he can't walk.” Another says, “He's so powerful, He cleansed ten lepers at once.” She says, “He doesn't have leprosy, he can't walk.” Another says, “He's so powerful, He can cast out demons.” His wife says, “He doesn't have demons, I told you that his problem is that he can't walk.”

No doubt this man had tried doctors, but none could help. He was helpless and discouraged and resigned to his fate that he would always be like this.

But these four men told him of their faith in Jesus and their faith kindled faith in him.

But the four men say, “Just let us take him on his cot...his pallet...to Jesus. He can help.

Each man grabs a corner of the cot. That means that each man had a responsibility. If one man didn't respond to his responsibility, the man would slide off.

These men just wanted to get their friend to Jesus.

There are some times and some cases when one man is not enough to get a spiritual paralytic to Christ. It may take four or more. What may be impossible for one may not be impossible for more than one.

These men were real friends. He may have had no funds, but He had at least four friends. True friends are of more value than funds.

• If it had not been for these four friends, this man may not have gotten to Jesus. And...If it is not

not for us, some may never get to Jesus!

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• These caring friends carried him to Jesus!

These four men give us four lessons on getting folks to Jesus:

A. There's a lesson on Caring

• These four men really loved and cared for their friend and in their compassion, they carried this man to Jesus.

• Compassion and caring are great qualities. They cared about this man regardless of his cripple condition.

• Cold hearts will not do much for man or Christ. Without the care and compassion of these four men, this man would not have gotten to Jesus.

• These four carriers did what they could. They couldn't heal the man, but they could get him to Jesus.

• Carrying a corner of a stretcher is a humble task. Some folks feel like they are too big for such a humble task, but unless someone is at all four corners of this stretcher, this man doesn't get to Jesus.

How far are you willing to go to get someone to Jesus? Far enough to pray for them? Far enough to give up an evening of leisure time to befriend someone? Far enough to invite others to church?

Someone said that folks don't care how much we know until they know how much we care.

B. There's a lesson in Conviction.

• These men were convinced that Jesus could heal this man...that he didn't have to stay in his crippled condition. They believed he could be different. They believed that Jesus could and would do something for him.

• They believed it so much that it moved them to action.

• The doctors couldn't do anything for him; they couldn't either, but they believed that Jesus could and would.

• All four of these men could walk and run and lift. They were whole and they wanted their friend to be whole, too. They would not ask Jesus to visit their friend, they brought him to see Jesus.

• If you are born again, Jesus has made you whole. He has forgiven us. And, yet, we have friends who are spiritually disable that Jesus can make whole and we must get them to Jesus!

C. There's a lesson in Cooperation

• These four men all had the same objective and they became a team who worked together to get this man to Jesus.

• If one man had not held his corner up, the man would have slide off, but each did his part.

D. There's a lesson in Commitment 2:5

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• There is no record that these men SAID anything. It does not say, “When Jesus heard about their faith,” but when Jesus SAW their faith.

• These four men were putting a shoulder to their faith!

But, now, there were some obstacles that challenged their faith.

1. Inconvenience

- This man was helpless and had to be carried to Jesus. It would take a great deal of time and

effort and energy to get this man to Jesus.

- And when they got to the house they couldn't get in. They had to make their way to the roof--

another inconvenience, but it didn't stop them.

- It doesn't take much to stop some of us from getting folks to Jesus.

2. Criticism

- When they started tearing the roof off the house, you can almost hear the criticism: “Who

would dare disturb our Bible study? Who do they think they are?”

- They had to ignore the protest and judgments around them.

3. Cost

Somebody is going to have to pay for repairing the roof. Somebody is responsible for the damage.

But look at their great faith. Their great faith is:

1. Persistent

- None of them said when they couldn't get through the door, “The crowd is too big. I guess it

just wasn't God's will for this man to be healed or God would have made a way.”

- They couldn't go in so they went up!

2. Creative

- If you had been there that day you would have seen temporary vandalism!

- Roofs in that day were constructed of timbers laid parallel to each other about two or three

feet apart. Then crosswise over the timbers, sticks were laid close to each other, thus forming

the basic roof. Upon this was laid reeds, branches, and the whole thing was overlaid with

about a foot of earth, and grass grew on the roof. The roof was two to three feet deep. A

stairway led from the outside of the house to the roof.

- Imagine the scene! The people inside hear the noise, then dust begins to fall, light begins to

shine through. It's no longer a roof; it's a sunroof! It had to be big enough to let a man down

through. Ropes are tied to the four corners; the pallet reaches eye level. There's a man on it.

The man is lying quietly, as if trusting his friends totally. Now the pallet reaches the floor

right in front of Jesus.

- What Jesus saw impressed Him. The faith of these men excited Jesus. I wonder if He didn't

smile with approval as all this was happening.

3. Sacrifice

- Again, someone would have to repair the roof which would call for time, labor, and expense.

- These men are an example to us, but they are more than an example, they are a rebuke to us

who could bring folks to Jesus but don't.

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- This is how it was and is with God, too. John 3:16 God dug, so to speak, through the roof of

the world and lowered His Son down so Jesus could die for our sins!

The real paralytics that day were the Pharisees and teachers of the law.

• Notice 2:6a: They just sat there. They should have been directing traffic to Jesus. They could have at least reached up to receive the poor cripple.

• Instead of love, they showed indifference. Instead of faith, they showed criticism. When they should have been rejoicing, they were reasoning.

III. The Healer 2:5-12

I wonder if the man and his four friends were not disappointed for just a moment when Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven you.” They wanted Jesus to heal him physically.

If Jesus had not forgiven his sins, I believe he would have gone back home rejoicing, singing, possessing joy beyond words.

But at first there was no word of physically healing. Their hopes must have been deflated like a punctured balloon.

But forgiveness is the greatest miracle that Jesus ever performs. It meets the greatest need and cost the greatest price and brings the greatest blessing and has the most lasting results.

Notice 2:8-12

• Note: Not which is easier to DO, but SAY. Well, which is easier to say? It is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” because that miracle takes place in the heart and is not seen of men. But to say, “Arise and walk” brought the debate about Jesus being God to the surface, and it would settle the issue once and for all.

• Jesus put His reputation on the line. The man would either walk or he wouldn't. If he didn't , Jesus would be exposed as a phony.

• Notice 2:12 – What a moment! He was both saved and healed! He took up his bed but left his sins behind – He was forgiven!

There is a grave in NYC with a tombstone that has only one word on it – Forgiven. No name, no dates, no eulogy, just one word – forgiven. That's the greatest thing that can be said about any man or woman.

Come ye weary, heavy-laden

Lost and ruined by the fall

If you tarry til you're better,

You will never come at all.

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Let not conscience make you linger

Nor of fitness fondly dream;

All the fitness He requireth

Is to feel your need of Him.

What an experience for this sinful paralytic. He experienced two miracles.

• The bed had borne the man; now, the man was bearing the bed.

• There was joy for the healed man, But there was also joy for the four men who brought him to Jesus.

• One of the great truths of this miracle is that God can use you to bring people to Jesus!

• Picture the four men saying, “Let's go find someone else to bring to Jesus!”

IV. The Haters 2:6-8

Jesus looked with compassion on the man; the Pharisees looked with contempt upon Jesus.

Verse 8 – Don't ever think to yourself when you are around Jesus, because when you are around Jesus you are never thinking to yourself.

The great lesson from this account is that Jesus went to great lengths to bring forgiveness to the lost.

We should go to great lengths to bring the lost to Jesus!

How far will you go to bring someone to Jesus? Across the street? Next door? Into your child's bedroom?

However far we may go, God will make it worth our while to bring even one person to His Son.