Monday, March 18, 2013

Missing the Point

Have you ever been listening to someone try to explain something and you realize they are completely missing the point? This happened to me Sunday. Unfortunately it happened while I was in church listening to the pastor preach! The pastor was trying to encourage the congregation to invite people to church (which is not necessarily a bad thing but is it a Biblical thing?) He asked us to turn to Mark 2:

Mark 2: 1- 12  - 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” 

The pastor spent his time talking about the men who carried the paralyzed man to see Jesus. He encouraged us to be like the men who carried him, the men who realized how important it was to get the paralyzed man to Jesus and how sometimes we might have to sweat and get a little dirty if we are going to bring people to church. Again this is not a bad thing but it is not the point of the verses. We tend to make the scripture about us and they are not about us, they are about Christ.

The verses above are a picture of what God does for us. We are the helpless, paralyzed man who can do nothing spiritually speaking. Scripture is clear that we were not just paralyzed but we were dead in our sins and dead people cannot do anything for themselves.
Colossinas 2: 13 - And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Ephesians 2: 1 - As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins
Much like the paralyzed may we are unable to do anything for ourselves. It is only when God draws men to himself that we can begin to walk spiritually speaking.
John 4: 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
The men who brought the paralyzed man to Christ are representative of the Holy Spirit drawing people to Christ. Once men are drawn to Christ they can receive forgiveness for their sins and begin walking in Christ and his finished work.

Many times we tend to make the Bible our self-help guide and what we are to do and although this is not necessarily a bad thing it is not what the Bible is about. The Bible is about Christ and what he has done. His last words on the cross were "It is finished" - John 19:30. He has done all the work, he fulfilled the law, he lived the sinless life we could not live. This is the Good News. Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He paid the price we could never pay.

The Gospel is about what has been done, not what we are to do. God help us to never forget this.

No comments:

Post a Comment