This Sunday’s sermon Mark 2:1-12 Title: Jesus is The Source of Forgiveness and Healing.

Text:And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”” (Mark 2:1–12, ESV)

Title: Jesus is The Source of Forgiveness and Healing.

  • The Source… Jesus is authority (He has called and they came in his own authority, He casts out demons in His own authority, He heals and forgives in His own authority.)
  • Forgiveness…  Only God can forgive sins. Jesus acts with the will and authority of God to forgive through Grace.
  • Healing… Image restoration.

Note on the relationship between sin and disease: Humans are in the image of God but we are all broken by the fall. As a result there is dis-ease (sins moral and natural blight on humanity) in every aspect of our very being…
Our Physical nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Spiritual nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Emotional nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Mental nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Volitional (our free will, desires, dreams, ability to choose) nature has been broken by dis-ease.
NOTE:Some say this brokenness is complete (people are 100 % percent broken) While others say this brokenness is total (every aspect of our being mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and  volitional, has been cracked by the fall) I personally hold  to a total brokenness (or depravity) position.

We need to understand from this text that
1. Jesus announces that He is The Source of forgiveness and love. ILLUSTRATION: Priest from the middle ages in France would say to the sick who came to them… “You have sinned and God is afflicting you. Thank Him, you will suffer so much less torment in the life to come”

2. Coming to Jesus as the source of forgiveness and love does not result in being turned away in this life or the next.

3. Healing is not only Physical!

4. Christ is God (Exodus 15:26 “I am the Lord who heals you”)

5. Our forgiving and healing relationship with God should carry over into our sphere of influence.

Congregational questions for discussion…
1. Do the Sick like you and I have full access to our Jesus and His church or are we fencing the well somewhere?
2. Do we see Christ as God or Gods separate helper? (example: is the Father angry at you and the Son is kind?)
3. Are we disgusted/angry about sins effect on us or are we angry about the effect of sinners on us? Which attitude is healthy and which one is not? Why?

The text for this Sunday’s sermon. I welcome your thoughts, questions and perspectives.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.” (Mark 1:35–45, ESV)

 

Q 1: Where is this passage located in redemption history and how does it relate to us? (See this post to help to help with this question… HERE)

Q 2: What does this point mean for the non Christian?

Q 3: What does it mean for us as citizens, as employees, and so forth?

Q 4: What does it teach us about Christ?

Q 5: What does it mean for us as individual Christians?

Q 6: What does it mean for our church as a whole?

An article I wrote for a blog called Think Theology.

A friend Luke Geraty asked me to write about “why it is important for pastors to spend time with their people because if they don’t they’ll preach sermons that don’t reach people and they’ll miss out on a ton of missional opportunities along the way.”  This is what I came up with. He is a great person, pastor and I really enjoy his blog check it out if you get the chance.

Here is the link to my article… “Pastors, plant Jesus seeds in the garden that God has called you to.”

6 reflections on dangerous relationships…

I have found meddlesome people to be the most unhappy people in the world.  When they find their own lives empty or hollow it is easy for them to seek vicarious attachment to the people around them. Here are six common things that I have found in most of the unhealthy relationships that I have allowed a little too much access into my life.

1. Dangerous people seem to want to live through me not with me.

2. Dangerous people seem to love me for what they want me to be not who I am right now.

3. Dangerous people look for my motive when they should be looking for context that leads to understanding.

4. Dangerous people dehumanize me in order to objectify me.

5. Dangerous people seem to support me when things are going well and disappear when things are going bad.

6. Dangerous people seem to try to get (need) me to believe the way they see things rather than believe what they say.

  • If you have had experience with someone who has hurt you with any of these six points what was it like?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Did you confront them?
  • Have you ever found yourself being persistently meddlesome in the past?
  • If you are a recovering meddler (like me) what brought about your ability to see that you needed to change?

Here is a great blog response to this Sunday’s message…

My phone is not working so I am not sure if I received any texts this week. Here is a great blog response to this Sunday’s message…

“Maybe God has placed us in this community so we can realize we are not alone. Maybe God has asked us to share with each other and grow as a community in love and discipleship. Maybe we are incapable of standing on the scale of faith as individuals but as a community, through communication and openness, we can stand strong on the scale with two feet and no crutch.”

http://poeticindifference.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/the-scales-of-faith/

What four things does Jesus call a disciple to? (Sermon title and outline for Sunday 8/12/12)

Mark 1:16–20 (The Message)

16 Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” 18 They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed. 19 A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee’s sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. 20 Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.

The four things Jesus calls a disciple to…

  1. Take Me (Jesus) in…
  2. Turn to Me (Jesus)…
  3. Trust in Me (Jesus)…
  4. Trace My (Jesus) steps…

Theologically dehumanizing people….

“Homophobia is LIKE racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to DEHUMANIZE a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Coretta Scott King

Wow I just came across a profound quote by Coretta Scott King. It really puts into perspective how we can attempt to “dehumanize” an issue in order to avoid dealing with our fears or phobias.  I do this all the time with other cultures and people that I am afraid of or not familiar with. It is the easy way to deal with the human condition… to dehumanize it. I have been taught how to theologically dehumanize people. I am learning how to be more Christlike… now when I disagree with a person, don’t understand them or don’t sin like them…  I need to remember that I should not deny them their , humanity, dignity or personhood.  In that sense we both bear the image of God… our humanity.

Profound. I am thankful Jesus died for my phobias. I don’t want to reduce people to theological problems anymore in the name of Christ.