by Ley Taberna
This message was delivered by Ptr. Ley Taberna during NLDC Youth Alive “Campus Invasion” Event held September 17, 2010
Our text is the first occurrence of the phrase, “Son of man” as used by Jesus, in the gospel of Mark (2:1-12). This was used in all four gospels about 80 times. It pictures the lowliness, humility, and suffering of Jesus Christ which became the source (or the fountain) of our salvation, healing, freedom and redemption.
In this story, Jesus was telling “the WORD” to a crowd in a certain home. This “WORD” connects our text with a previous story where the leper went out and began to spread “the WORD” (1:45). We can infer from the story that this spread of “the WORD” brought in more people to Jesus. It brought in more sick and hurting people wanting healing, forgiveness, freedom, and redemption.
One of those sick and hurting people brought to Jesus was a paralytic man.
I did a small research and I found out that the Greek word for paralytic, paralytikos, actually comes from the verb, paralyo, which literally means “to be relaxed or disabled on the side.” It could refer to any type of lameness or even weakness.
Thus, we can’t know the exact infirmity of the person who was brought to Jesus, except that he was unable to walk.
You and I see paralytics everywhere—people who seemed to be walking and living and doing things but in reality they are lying down in their mats of suffering, living hopeless, meaningless and joyless lives.
1. THERE IS AT LEAST SOMEBODY IN YOUR CAMPUS WHO IS PARALYZE.
His paralysis may have come from personal sin, deep pain, negative situations and circumstances. It may have come from addictions of all sorts—addiction to alcohol, to drugs, to pornography or to sex. It may have come from personal struggles like homosexuality or lust or sexual promiscuity. It may have come from a bout with premarital sex, a haunting past, a broken family or a financial difficulty.
These paralytics can’t walk the Christian life. They can’t go the distance alone. They are hopeless in their mats of struggle, addiction, pain, or difficulty. They have no hope except when friends will carry him (or help him go the distance) to the one who alone can bring salvation, hope, redemption, and freedom-JESUS!
Jesus sees these friends’ faith.
Who are these friends?
How could Jesus see their faith?
What is faith?
These are interesting questions from the story and I intend to answer them tonight.
Whenever FAITH is mentioned in conjunction with miracles, it seems to imply PERSEVERANCE—the overcoming of obstacles in order to get to Jesus.
2. PARALYTICS FROM YOUR CAMPUS ARE HINDERED BY OBSTACLES FROM COMING TO JESUS.
In our text, the obstacles are (1) the man’s inability to walk, (2) the crowd blocking the normal way to Jesus and (3) the roof blocking the not so normal way to Jesus.
In spite of these obstacles, the four friends are PERSISTENT and RESOURCEFUL enough to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus.
Your friends and classmates in the campus may be paralyzed. They don’t know Jesus. They live lives far from Him. They live lonely, hopeless lives. They seek meaning for existence but still find no sense to life. So they turn to drugs or alcohol or any form of addiction which we call by our postmodern standards “cool” but actually drags them farther and farther away from the one who can provide the happiness, hope and meaning they so desired.
What do you feel when you see them?
I think that the FAITH that Jesus saw was the PERSEVERANCE of the four friends.
We are never told if the paralyzed man wanted to be there in that crowded room where Jesus is teaching. I wonder what the four friends might have said to him so that he would be willing to be hauled to that house, and up to that roof, and down through that hole to be near Jesus.
Could the conversation between the four and that one paralyzed man be like your conversation with a friend you tried to bring to this Campus INVASION tonight?
I am not Jesus but I know one thing from Jesus’ words:
3. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO BRING A PARALYZED FRIEND FROM YOUR CAMPUS TO HIM.
Ben Witherington, author of the scholarly work “The Gospel of Mark,” describes the demonstration the four friends’ faith. In page 115 of his book, he said, “They dared to do the difficult, the dangerous, the controversial in order to bring their friend into the presence of Jesus.”
I am fairly certain that the reason the four friends went to so much trouble to get their friend to Jesus is that they expected the Lord to heal him. They expected Jesus to touch him, to set him free from his affliction.
And He did.
Jesus is the answer to every paralytic’s affliction. He saves, He heals, He sets free. He can touch anyone who would come to Him.
Some of you talked to a friend and tried to bring that friend here to be saved tonight. Maybe that friend did not come. Do not lose heart. Have faith. Be resourceful and persevere. Talk to that friend again. Convince him and bring him to our next Campus INVASION.
But maybe some of you were able to convince a friend and your friend is here tonight. Why don’t you bring your friend here at the altar and we can all lead him to Jesus. Jesus can touch his life. Jesus can make a difference in his life. Jesus can set him free.
But before you bring them here at the altar, before you come with your friend with you listen to this:
There was this story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done—helping paralytics come near Jesus so He can heal them, them and set them free; even give them hopeful, joyful and meaningful lives.
Everybody was sure Somebody would do that job pretty well. Anybody could have done it effectively but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody won’t do it.
It ended up that while Everybody thinks Somebody does it, Nobody actually does what Anybody could have done and paralytics die every moment and breathe their last and find their way to hell.
I can actually vividly imagine that on Judgment Day, Everybody would blame Somebody because Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
And the Master would be displeased.
I wouldn’t allow that though.
I hope not.
Ley wants to be known as a dreamer and a dream releaser in the lives of others. He is currently the Sectional Youth Director of the Eastern Pangasinan Northern Tarlac Section of NLDC.
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