Mark 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.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.
Here is an account of a paralyzed man. We don’t know how long he’d been that way. He heard Jesus was in Capernaum and wanted to see him. He couldn’t get to him on his own. This is a picture of lost people getting to Jesus. Everyone needs help to get there. Our duty as Christians is to invite people to church. Here is the error in some people’s thinking: a person has to be in church to be saved. This is not true. The Lord comes to the sinner. Some of you were saved at home. Before I was saved I wanted to get away from church as soon as it was over. The Lord was dealing with me. If I had asked him I could have been saved away from the church, at home or work; all I had to do was say yes to the Lord. I used to think a preacher had to be there. That’s not true either. In some religions, sacraments are given by a priest. In others they shake a preacher’s hand, answer some questions and agree to be baptized. This is all false doctrine. You don’t need to be in church and neither a preacher or deacon or teacher has to be present. God needs to be present.
When the scripture asks how can they hear without a preacher, it simply means without a witness of the gospel. Whether at home or work or church someone has to bear the gospel to those who are hopeless in sin. They have to get them to Jesus. It wasn’t that the house was in Capernaum; it was that Jesus was in the house. A church is judged by the reputation of the people. If Jesus is in this house—the church house—then he must be in this house—our heart. We have a responsibility to be a witness. This man was not borne by one. It took four men to get him to Jesus. There is someone to help you get others to Jesus. It takes four: God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, and you or me. We can win others to the Lord.
Jesus said no one could come to him unless the Father draws him. Witnesses keep on witnessing. People would talk about the Lord and how good he is among each other and it would get to me. We witness. The Holy Spirit has to convict and draw. Then you realize what you do is wrong and it pricks the heart. We can’t convict others. Remember our own state before we were saved. Jesus saves. He meets the sinner half way and does all the saving. The preacher or anyone else has nothing to do with that.
If a person tries to remain a baby in their natural life many times he turns out to be a brat. A baby Christian has to grow and mature in the Lord. Then we assume our proper place—getting others to Jesus. In order to get this man to Jesus they had to press through the crowd. People who were perfectly well wouldn’t get out of the way for the man. Sometimes we won’t get out of the way. If we won’t help others get to Jesus then we need to get out of the way. Don’t be a stumbling block; be a stepping stone.
Through the gospel Jesus saves; it is contact with him that does it. Water or any other thing or person doesn’t fulfil that role. The plan of salvation is in the Word. Jesus has the power. When the man got to him he was more concerned about his sin than his healing. Jesus told him his sins were forgiven. Others questioned what he said and did. Jesus asked 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? 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,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 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 people said what some say today: we don’t do it that way. The preacher can’t do it. The church house can’t do it. Jesus does it. All we need is the truth of the gospel of God in our heart; we put it in our mouth to witness so others see and hear. They call on the name of the Lord. It takes four to bear one: the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and you or me. We have the written Word; that’s as good as the Lord speaking. Everyone who hears the witness, believes and calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. That fourth person is us, the witness. God gets the glory when we who were one-time sinners introduce the gospel to someone else and they get saved. We are all a product of someone else’s witness.
Who will go? When asked that question, Isaiah said “here am I, Lord, send me.” Let’s pick up our corner of the bed and take someone to Jesus.