The Greatest Need

need 1

People who are part of our world, our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors are in need.

We see the problems and the difficulties they are experiencing, marriage problems, financial troubles, addictions, depression, sickness. Our hearts go out to them. We want to help. But do we understand their greatest need?
Four friends of a man in Mark chapter 2 thought they did.

“Some days later when Jesus came back to Capernaum, people heard that Jesus was back in town and many gathered at the house where He was staying. Soon the crowd overflowed from the house into the streets, and still more people pressed forward to hear Jesus teaching the message of God’s kingdom. Four men tried to bring a crippled friend to Him; but since the crowd prevented their carrying him close enough to get Jesus’ attention, they climbed up onto the roof, opened a hole in it, and lowered the paralyzed man on his mat down to Jesus”. Mark 2:1-4
Jesus has come to town, the crowds are big, and there is a man (he is not named) who is unable to walk, he is crippled. His four friends bring him to Jesus but because of the crowds can’t reach Him or get His attention. They take their friend to the roof, cut a hole in it and lower him down to Jesus. Jesus recognizes the faith of these men and says to the crippled man

“Son, your sins are forgiven”. Mark 2:5

Mark does not write about the four friends response to Jesus statement.

They have just gone to a great deal of trouble to get their friend to Jesus, and are now possibly facing charges for destruction of private property. Not to mention drawing quite a bit of maybe angry attention to themselves.
Jesus doesn’t say “you are healed, get up” instead he says, “your sins are forgiven”. 

We know the religious people didn’t like it “Some scribes were sitting in the crowd, and they didn’t like what they were hearing”. Mark 2:6 

Possibly the mans friends didn’t either. They knew what his life was like, the hardship he faced as a cripple.

If their friend could only walk again it would change everything, but Jesus has not given them what they came for, the healing of their friend.

They did not understand his greatest need. Jesus did.

In response to the religious leaders criticism of His statement “Son, your sins are forgiven, Jesus said:
Why do My words trouble you so? Think about this: is it easier to tell this paralyzed man, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to tell him, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk”? Still, I want to show you that the Son of Man has been given the authority on earth to forgive sins. (to the paralytic) Get up, pick up your mat, and go home”. Mark 2:8-11

My pastor this morning offered this observation. It was easy to say “pick up your mat and go home”.

To say “your sins are forgiven” was much harder, the price greater. In fact it would cost Him his life.
And the Cross would be the price that would be paid so that all, the crippled man, his friends and all that would come after, could be not only healed but forgiven.
Like the four friends of this crippled man we sometimes do not see that the greatest need for all of us is forgiveness. Jesus understood is our greatest need.

 Colossians 1:12-14 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible and it confirms this need in a promise

 Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].[e]

Inheritance, set apart, rescued from darkness, safe, redeemed, everything begins with and hinges on forgiveness.

Forgiveness that breaks the curse that began in Genesis 3:8, that provides a way to the Father, through Jesus Christ, forgiveness that invites us into real life more and better that we could imagine.
We should always do what we can to address the physical, emotional and materials needs of those around us.
But we must remember the greatest need of our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors just as it was with the crippled man is forgiveness.

This changes everything.

I would like to thank the pastors at James River Church for their dedication to excellence in sharing the Word through expository teaching. Currently they are teaching through the book of Mark

This post was inspired by a message taught by pastor David Lindell, from the 2nd chapter of Mark on Sunday November 1st.  “Through the Eyes of Jesus”

To watch this or any other sermons in this series go to

 http://jamesriver.org/messages

About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN NUGGETS, CHRISTIAN TAGALOG BLOGS, CHRISTIAN TEENS BLOGS, SHARING STRUGGLES , Shaping Spiritual Solutions! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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