Ministry has always been messy, sometimes requiring digging through a roof, sometimes resulting in dirty carpet or smudged walls with finger prints, all a small price to pay in digging down deeper to bring someone before their Savior, but investing in the lives of always does more than just provides them an audience with Christ, but your…
Faith Acts as a Foundation (Mark 2:5) 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”I want you to notice three things which jumped out at me when I read this through: First is the term of endearment, Jesus doesn’t say, “HEY GUY, WHY DID YOU INTERRUPT ME?” or “HEY GUYS, YOU DIDN’T GO THROUGH THE RIGHT CHANNELS, instead he has a heart for the hurting, he uses the term Son or Child, not denoting his age, but denoting how Jesus sees him. Sometimes, it is so easy to fall into the trap of saying, “That is not how we normally do things or have commonly done things!” Jesus doesn’t seem to mind an audible or sudden change. Secondly, I want you to notice who Jesus focuses on first, “When Jesus saw whose faith? Their faith—the faith of the friends—he turned to the paralyzed man. Their faith was acting as a foundation for the man to receive the attention, that he so desperately needed, but here is what is cool about Jesus—while the friends had been focused on the obvious want (he wanted to walk), Jesus went to the heart of obscure need (needing his sin’s forgiven). Sin isn’t always the cause of problems, but here Jesus seems to imply it is spiritual sins which have had a physical result.
Christopher Yuan was much like the man paralyzed not by a physical ailment, but by the results of poor choice after poor choice. He hadn’t always been paralyzed, for a time he seemed to be on the fast track, 4 months from graduation from dental school, ready to take over his father’s dental practice, but the entire time, beneath the surface there was a double life being lived. There were the gay bars, drug dealing (not just a little, but as a regional high level salesman), and living a promiscuous lifestyle… We are used to hearing news like that, but what is rare, was his mother’s response: Every morning before I started my day I would go into my prayer closet,” his mother says. “One of the prayers was, ‘Lord, have mercy on this son.’ For seven years, she prayed in that small quiet closet, placing sticky notes all over the walls, without hearing from her son, her calls ignored, her cards returned unanswered, her visits turned down at the door. But she kept praying, finally she got her answer, about that time 12 DEA agents stormed through Christopher’s Atlanta apartment, finding 9.1 tons of marijuana, and for the first time he found himself paralyzed in the federal penitentiary system, no real plans to leave, and as she picked up the phone…it was her son looking for help.
She knew she didn’t have the power to save him, but she knew the Savior who could. All along when he was faithless, when he ignored her, when he laughed at her, finally when he needed it the most her faith was his new foundation. There are lots of time where we can be paralyzed by our poor decisions, by the consequences of sin, fear of the comfort of an addiction or fear of the unknown in giving our entire lives to Christ, but today, I want to challenge you to pick one person in your life, a family member, a friend, a colleague at work, a classmate in your school—a person who maybe doesn’t know Jesus Christ, and I want you to commit to praying for them consistently, day in and day out, preparing yourself in faith to be a foundation when they are ready, not to save them, but to lead them to their Savior!
I am asking you to dig down a little deeper, just as Christ did for us! It is Christ who as the agent of creation, was sovereign over all things, united to the Father and the Spirit, and yet he decided in humility to dig down deeper for us, becoming man, ripping through the cosmic divide, creating a way for us to see the light of heaven, in the darkness of the world. It was Christ who made himself the sacrifice once and for all for sin, saving not thousands, but millions upon millions across the centuries and millennium. Jesus gave us the call to be his witnesses, as he became a victim for us: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Through faith in God, we are empowered through God, to be used by God, for the mission of God!