Who's Your One - Part 2
Series: Who's Your One
October 13, 2019
Who’s Your One
We’ve taken a break from our God’s End Game series to focus on a special emphasis called Who’s Your One. We’re challenging everybody to prayerfully pick their one, a person who is unchurched, out of church, or spiritually seeking and start inviting them to Bring-A-Friend Day on November 10. The goal of this campaign is to influence others for Jesus.
Jesus said he’d make us fishers of men if we followed him. We Baptists have tried to make that happen with programs and such, haven’t we? I mentioned last week that I’ve done them all: CWT, EE, FAITH (what’s with all the acronyms?), Share Jesus Without Fear, and the list goes on.
I remember doing EE just after being called into the ministry in Talladega, Alabama. Our thee person team had been given the name of lady near the church to visit. So we headed over there, knocked on her door, and ended up in her living room. Lucky me, it was my night to share the 45 minute gospel presentation I had memorized for the FIRST time.
About ten minutes in the phone rang, she jumped to get it, and we could hear her explaining to someone why three men were in her living room. She hung up, came back in and said it was her husband and that he was going to be mad.
I was ready to go but our leader nudged me and said, “Keep going.”
About 10 more minutes in we heard a car skid into the driveway. Then we heard a door slam. Then we saw a greasy little man wearing wife beater t-shirt standing in the doorway just staring at us with these wild eyes, like he wanted to kill us. He stayed there frozen for what seemed like five minutes.
I was really ready to leave then, but the leader said, “Keep going.”
I did but as I did the little man stormed into the back of the house as if he were looking for soemthing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to share Jesus without fear when all you can think is about is that wild little man looking for his gun?
He didn’t come back out, I finished the presentation, that poor lady didn’t accept Jesus, and I’ve never been so happy to leave someone’s home in all my life.
As good as those programs are and as many folks as we might reach using them, one thing I’ve discovered is they tend to make sharing our faith and influencing others for Jesus more about us than them.
Jesus said he’d make us fishers of men. So I need to follow him as closely as I can and let him do that. It’s much more natural and in the long run more effective.
So the key is letting Jesus make us more evangelistic, more passionate about influencing others for him.
Along the way we’ll help you with that, but for now, to get you started being a fisher of men, all we’re asking you to do is prayerfully invite somebody to the big day on November 10.
If I were to ask for a raising of hands from anyone who believes our mission as a church is to influence people for Jesus, I’m pretty sure every hand would go up. It’s a no-brainer. That’s why we Baptists are all about missions and that’s good thing: IMB, NAMB, TBMB, and other amazing acronyms.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of missions without realizing our personal role in the mission. For example, many of you love sports (I have to say you and not us or I’d be lying). You sit on the sidelines and pull for your favorite team but you never step foot on the playing field to make a contribution yourself, now do you? You are great cheerleaders but not actual contributors.
Sadly, the same can be said for members of the local church. We often sit in the pews (chairs) and maybe even critique the pastor’s sermon or the worship time or church leadership but never really get up and get involved in the game.
Well today we are going to look at some guys who were all in on their mission, in this case, a mission to help a friend, and they went all out hands-on to do it. Look with me at…
Luke 5:17–26 (ESV) — 17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
Jesus was making a name for himself, skyrocketing to fame in a short time, because of two things:
Matthew 4:23 (ESV) — 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
Did you catch the two things? Teaching and healing (just as we observe in Luke 5:17).
His teaching was unlike any the people had heard. And his power to heal was unlike any the people had seen. This was especially dumbfounding because Jesus just came out of nowhere, from no place really, with no credentials…
Matthew 13:53–58 (ESV) — 53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
That last verse, 58, ties in I think to verse 17 of our Luke text this morning. Where the belief was lacking there was little healing. Where the belief was abundant the healing was abundant. So for whatever reason the people were believing in Jesus and seeing some amazing healings to spite the presence of the Pharisees and teachers of the law (the religious leaders) who were trying to catch Jesus in saying or doing something wrong.
Some ordinary guys like you and me believed so much in the power of Jesus to heal, they went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that power worked in the life of friend…
18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
Talk about persistence! These guys, four to be exact (as told in Mark’s account), were not going to let the crowds stop them. They went around back and found stairs leading up to the roof. Then they actually dug through the roof made of sticks and earth. And then lowered their friend down right into the presence of Jesus.
Can you imagine this? They actually messed up some poor guys roof to help a friend! Vandalism paid off because in verse…
20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
Wait, what? This doesn’t make sense. We have this act of love and compassion for a guy who is paralyzed, and Jesus just ruins it by bringing up sin? What’s he talking about?
One pastor explains…
… what’s intriguing to see is, though this man is being brought to be healed of his paralysis, Jesus, first of all says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Here’s what this means.
He says, “You have two paralyzing diseases not one. You have something paralyzing your body, and it’s a terrible, horrible thing, but the only disease that can really kill you, that can really destroy you forever, that can really destroy your life forever for all eternity, is the fact you’re not right with God. You have sins between you and God, and I’m going to remove that barrier and make you right with God,” and so he does.
Jesus can heal you psychologically, he can change your social relationships, he can even heal you physically, but unless you get [the sin problem dealt with it doesn’t matter]… In fact, everything else is based on that. It’s only the new relationship with God, it’s only the being pardoned, it’s only knowing that you’re his delight, it’s only the humility, the repentance, and the reception of that love that makes you right with God that is the basis for all of the other transformations…
Remember how the audience was full of those religious leaders? And how they were looking to catch Jesus? Well, what Jesus said about forgiving this man’s sins fired them up something awful…
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
They are right, by the way, only God can forgive sins. Who does this Jesus think he is, God?
22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
We can learn and take to heart so much from our text this morning, but four things stand out as we focus on Who’s Your One.
I. THESE MEN HAD A MISSION.
Mission is important. It’s what drives us. It’s what fuels our passion. The people who have changed the world are people who’ve been driven by a mission.
These four friends were on a mission to see their brother healed. Their drive and passion paid off!
The greatest person ever had the greatest mission ever to live out…
Luke 19:10 (ESV) — 10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
That was Jesus’ mission statement. He was so passionate and so committed he let his mission carry him to the cross.
If we follow Jesus, if we are his disciples, what should our mission be? To seek and save the lost, to influence people for him, and see them become his followers too.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t live this out like I should, even as a pastor. I let the busyness and the craziness of life and ministry distract me. I also let fear get in the way.
Pray with me that Jesus would make us fishers of men, that he’d give us his passion, he’d make us on mission Christians. Not the kind who stand on street corners yelling, but the kind who lovingly and prayerfully make a difference in the lives of those around us.
Another thing we see from our text is…
II. THESE MEN HAD AN EAGER EXPECTATION.
They actually believed that Jesus could heal this man. They thought, “Maybe, just maybe.” They took a risk because of the mission. This is true of men and women throughout the Bible (e.g., Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land or Elijah on Mt. Carmel). We now live on the other side of Jesus’ work on the cross and the empty tomb. How much greater should our expectations be?
I’ll also be the first to admit my expectations are often less than they should be. There are people close to me that need God and just won’t budge and I get discouraged. I start to lose hope.
Pray with me that we’d raise our expectations because we’re putting our trust in the one who can heal, the one who can raise people from the dead, the one who came back from the dead.
Which brings us to something else we notice…
III. THESE MEN ENCOUNTERED AN OBSTACLE.
Because of the crowd, there was no way to Jesus. But they didn’t give up. They pushed through until they got their friend at the feet of Jesus.
It’s naive to think that there won’t be obstacles in the Christian life, particularly when it comes to fishing for men. When that happens, many of us give up. We throw up the white flag of surrender. There’s no way in—or so it seems.
Jesus worked the miracle but they had to work to get their friend there.
Pray with me that we wouldn’t give up when things get hard, when influencing others for Jesus seems difficult or obstacles get in the way.
Finally, we see…
IV. THESE MEN GOT MORE THAN THEY BARGAINED FOR.
They thought their friend’s greatest need was physical; he needed to walk and move again. But Jesus showed them his greatest need was spiritual. He needed a clean heart. The deliverance from paralysis was just a bonus!
Joni Erickson Tada was paralyzed at a young age from a diving accident. She writes…
“My wheelchair was the key to seeing all this happen—especially since God’s power always shows up best in weakness. So here I sit … glad that I have not been healed on the outside, but glad that I have been healed on the inside. Healed from my own self-centered wants and wishes.”
Pray with me that we’d desire to see a heart change, to see people we know and love set free from the bondage of sin, healed from their spiritual sickness, and become part of God’s forever family.
CONCLUSION: As we close, I’d like to share what one commentator says…
How those four loved their friend! Their love overcame daunting obstacles. They would not be put off by the unyielding crowd. Because of their love they temporarily “vandalized” another’s property to achieve their end. They ignored the judgments of those around them. Perhaps the paralyzed man was a beloved brother or uncle or father. Or maybe he was simply a neighbor with whom they had grown up.
One thing is certain: they cared about him, and their love was the first reason for the deliverance he was about to experience. This is how it was and is with God too, for God so loved the world that he made the ultimate sacrifice for us (cf. John 3:16). He dug, so to speak, through the roof of the world and lowered his Son down so Jesus could die for our sins.
In our own lives, our family and friends will very likely not know the healing touch of Christ unless we have the kind of love that rips open roofs, so to speak. If we truly love those around us, we will pray regularly and fervently for their salvation. We will risk being judged as fools in our efforts to win them to Christ. If we are not praying, if we are not prying open any roofs, do we really love them?
Here’s my one. Do you have yours? Could we at least be willing to invite them to Bring-A-Friend Day?
Before we close, what about you? Have you had a heart change? Have you been healed from the sickness of sin?
Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 10:9–10 (ESV) — 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Romans 10:13 (ESV) — 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Content Copyright Belongs to Pleasant View First Baptist Church