Mark 2:1-12 “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. 6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 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? 10 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,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 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.”
In Bible days, the invention of the chariot was devastating to those who didn’t have them. Later, the use of gun powder and explosives changed the way we fight.
In a particular war, land mines were used. There was no chance of survival if a person happened to stand on one. This war took years and years. The enemy noticed the Americans refused to leave their wounded behind. Americans would even put themselves in harm’s way in order to carry out their wounded. Seeing this, the enemy altered its land mine strategy. Instead of killing, the land mines merely wounded affecting morale.
It’s easier to win a battle if you’re fighting against someone who has no hope.
In the battle of life, it’s hard when you have to bear up the wounded. It takes up to four or more to carry a single wounded person. There are also those who are neglected because of the demands of caregiving. The devil can’t kill you if he could, he would.
In Scripture, God spoke to Satan and asked about His servant Job. Satan responded that God protected him. So, God gave Satan permission to wound him. Even Job’s friends weren’t true friends to him. In fact, it’s possible that Satan’s worst attack was through Job’s demoralizing friends.
The humiliation of being carried around by others is also demoralizing. The person being carried feels like such a burden. At some point, there are no more resources or help. Men will let you down, but Jesus Christ will pick you up.
When there’s nothing left, just try Jesus. Instead of trying to bare up that person yourself, bring him to Jesus.
Four lowered the man with palsy down, but only One (Jesus) was needed to lift him up.
We don’t know what happened to the man. We don’t know about his friends either, but there must’ve been some kind of dire need. He probably couldn’t even feed himself. The friends realized they needed help.
A woman had an issue of blood that lasted 12 years. She must’ve been fairly well off, middle class, because she paid doctors to help her, but they couldn’t. People can only take you so far.
Aren’t you glad that He who has the resources, also has compassion?
Bring them to Jesus.
The woman gave everything she had. The four friends had to bring this man to Jesus. If we could just get to Jesus…
Jesus has compassion. He cares. He loves you. God loves you!
God will save crazy sinners and normal sinners. God cares about the people who struggle with drugs and the people who have adulterous relationships with their mothers-in-law. God has compassion. David took those who weren’t even Jews to be part of his army, part of his kingdom. David’s kingdom took ‘people from the gutter and exalted them.’
‘To the chief musician from the sons of Korah,’ these men worshipped God even though their father tried to rebel against Moses. These men watched as God caused the earth to swallow their father. Instead of bitterness, they chose God.
God doesn’t care if you’re a loser. He wants you.
There are some that are beyond repair from human help. Humpty Dumpty couldn’t be put back together. But, God cares. He can heal.
The man set on by robbers was avoided by a priest and a Levite, but a Samaritan helped him. He had compassion. He did what he could.
There comes a point where you just can’t do anything else. Try Jesus. He’s in town. All of your kindness, resources, there’s only so much that you can do, but there is Someone Who can do more than you. The best thing you can do is admit your need for help and get them to Jesus.
Some people like it when others depend on them. They don’t admit when they need help. Jesus is the one who can help. He can do what we can’t. The best we can do for somebody else is to bring them to Jesus.
The church is great, but alone it can do nothing for your sin or your palsy. However, the One who died for you and rose again has the power to set you free and heal you and put your broken pieces together again.
The Bible says the men had to remove some stuff in order to make a hole in the roof. Those men had a burden they could no longer carry. Jesus didn’t yell at them for making a hole in the roof. He saw their faith. He looked past that man with palsy’s need in his body and saw the need in his soul. Jesus forgave his sins and healed his body.
A man with leprosy said, ‘Please don’t send me away. If you’re willing…’ Jesus said, ‘I’m willing, be healed.’ And the man went away whole. The sickness wasn’t just gone. Jesus replaced the limbs he’d already lost because of that disease. He was whole again.
The four men didn’t know how they would get their friend back out if Jesus didn’t heal him. Thank goodness for the compassion of Jesus.
Compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy, but there’s more. It means to help even those who aren’t worthy. Compassion literally means ‘to suffer together’ or ‘a deep motivation to relieve the suffering of others.’
Luke 7:12-15 “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”
Jesus caused the people to get out of the way so the boy could get to his mother.
Mat 14:13-14 “When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (emphasis mine)
We can only do so much. Get the people to Jesus. Only He can meet your deepest needs.
The enemy comes in and has wounded people all over this city. If he can wound, he can hurt morale, cause the loss of hope. It not God’s intent to demoralize you. Bring people to Him.
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus has come to give you not only life but abundant life.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- How have you experience compassion either towards yourself or witnessed towards someone else?
- How have you shown compassion to someone else?
- Read Colossians 1:13-22. If God’s power is absolute and these verses are true, what does that mean for your life here and in the hereafter?
- Who in your life needs your compassion and how will you show it to them? Who in your life needs to hear about the hope we have in the compassion shown by Jesus?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.