November 30, 2016
Read Mark 2:1-22
Some men came, bringing to Jesus a paralytic, carried by four of them…when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:3,5
Not long after I came to faith, I woke one night and looked out my window to a strange sight. I saw what looked like a low cloud, just above the roof line. It was oddly lit, almost glowing, and it looked to me like a horse and rider. To this day, I’m still not sure what I saw. But to this day, I remember exactly how I felt and what first went through my mind: awe and sorrow.
The awe I felt was that immediate sense that Jesus had come back in power and glory and that it was really true. The world was going to end. It was that kind of dumbstruck awe that comes when you have been waiting for something seemingly forever, and now it actually happened. It isn’t that you didn’t think that it would happen, but you didn’t think you’d see it. I wasn’t afraid. I knew that Jesus was my Savior and that He would welcome me.
But I was also immediately struck with sorrow. I thought instantly of all the people I knew and loved who didn’t know Jesus. I grieved for them and felt regret for not having done more to show them Jesus and share the good news with them.
To be ready for Jesus’ return is to be a faithful servant. We don’t need to be perfect. But He does expect to find us doing the work He called us to do to the best of our ability. Part of that work is to be a faithful witness, to share the good news of Jesus, in word and deed, with a world in need. Although only God can convert the heart of hearers, we are meant to sow the seed, to spread the word.
Did you notice in this passage that it was four men who brought their paralytic friend to Jesus? They didn’t heal him, but they gave of themselves, even digging through a thatch roof, to get their friend close to Jesus so that He could heal him.
How do we do that?
I would suggest three things.
First, we bring people to Jesus by showing them Jesus in our own lives. We don’t dig down deep and make that happen in our own strength, as though we can make ourselves like Jesus. Instead, we keep ourselves close to Jesus, knowing that when we do, we become like Him and He shines through us. One of the most important things you can do in order to share your faith is to make sure that you are staying close to Jesus yourself.
Second, share the good news of what Jesus has done and is doing in your life. We talk about the things, and the people, we love. Talk about Jesus! That doesn’t mean that you have to become a street preacher. It simply means talking about your life of faith. When you talk to your neighbor, you can mention having fun at Bible study the other night. When you buy your groceries, you can offer to pray for the checker. You get the picture. If we talk about what we love, and we love Jesus, then we should talk naturally about Jesus. A big piece of sharing our faith is simply talking about the Lord we love.
Third, don’t do it alone. Did you notice that four men brought their friend? We don’t work alone in sharing our faith. Even if you don’t get to “seal the deal” after sharing your faith, it doesn’t mean that you weren’t effective. And if you do get to “seal the deal,” don’t make the mistake of thinking that you were the only one involved – there was almost undoubtedly a long line of seed-sowers who came before you!
If Jesus came back tonight, for whom would your heart be filled with sorrow?