What a Story from Capernaum!
In preparing for tonight’s message, I wasn’t sure as to what I felt led to preach. I will be beginning another series for Sunday nights, and have a thought, but I just don’t have peace as to what to preach - so, as I sat there asking the LORD what to preach, I flipped open my Bible to this passage and figured that was good enough for me.
I have preached this passage a few times in the past, and while this is a completely different outline that the LORD gave me today, I believe this passage so rich that I could have preached one of the other outlines that the LORD has given to me before and it still been good!
In developing a title for the message, this is what the LORD gave me - ‘What a Story from Capernaum!’. The reason is two-fold.
1. There’s not necessarily a central theme to the message, but more-so an expounding upon the events that took place that day
2. What an amazing story! I mean, can you imagine being over in Jerusalem and someone from Capernaum come tell you ‘hey, let me tell you about what happened when Jesus was there!’ and then proceed to tell you this story? Wow!
And let me say - there’s a bunch of people who could have told it - as there was a bunch of people who witnessed the events in Capernaum that day.
That being said, the first things we’re going to examine is ‘The Crowd in Capernaum’
I. The Crowd in Capernaum
I. The Crowd in Capernaum
The Bible tells us that there were so many people in that building there that it was standing room only. (Ill.) picture this - we had recently 120+ here in this church house. But everyone except the preacher was seated - we still had the isles clear, so there was a lot more room. Had this church looked like that building that day you would have had people standing shoulder to shoulder up & down every isle in the church!
Now the question is, why was that? What was it exactly that drew such a big crowd in Capernaum that day?
Because Jesus Entered
Jesus makes a difference!
Whenever Jesus enters, He makes a difference.
(Ill.) Some 23 years ago, Jesus entered into my heart. At that time in my life, I was a father who had a young daughter about 5yo. As a heathen, I was doing my best to be good father, husband & moral person. I worked two jobs, as I have most my life. I was doing what most were doing. But it wasn’t enough. There was still something missing. Then I met Jesus - and it made a difference!
He changed my Destination
He changed my Decisions
He changed my Desires
Jesus made a Difference in my life!
Jesus makes a difference individually - but He also makes a difference collectively
When the community hears that Jesus is in this house - it will make a difference.
You see to the majority of the mid-Ohio valley, we’re just another church on another corner in another town. Nothing special. What will make a difference in attracting people unto the House of God is when they hear that Jesus is in the House!
Which leads me to the second next point:
Because the People were Excited
About what was possible
When Jesus was in the house, there was literally no limit as to what could happen. This excited the people.
About what would be preached
When Jesus was in the house, they knew that wisdom would be given. They knew that they were going to get help & be challenged by what was preached.
Question: Do you believe Jesus is in THIS House? If so, we must understand that if our church is going to break away from the pack of ‘just another church’, then our people need to get excited about Jesus being in the House! Because the masses KNEW Jesus was in the house - because it was ‘noised abroad’!
(Ill.) Let me tell you something that should shame us IFB’s. ‘Churches’ like the Warehouse are growing. One reason is that the people are excited about it. Why? They’re excited because of ‘feelings’ they experience in their secular rock-worship sessions. Why should this shame us? Because we have the TRUTH - and we don’t get excited about it. They worship in error, we worship in truth - they are excited, we’re not - something is wrong with that!
The congregation grew because the people were excited
Then the Word was Expounded
Listen - get this. At first, that was it. Just Jesus preaching the Word of God. But let me say this, it was enough. The miracle didn’t come till later.
But that’s just it - this is the way it works. First comes the Word, then come the miracles.
But if all these people got was the Word of God preached unto them, then it’s enough.
What this world today needs is not:
Drum set, fog machine and disco lights
Self-help & glorification from the Joel Osteen’s of the world
It doesn’t need to be told how good it is
It needs to hear that they’re sinners - but thank God there’s a Saviour!
This world needs the Word of God. Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Word was Expounded
The Crowd heard Jesus Entered, they got Excited and they heard the Word Expounded. Secondly, we see the Courage of Four
II. The Courage of Four
II. The Courage of Four
They Pooled their Efforts
We see that it wasn’t one or two that took this sick man to Jesus, it was four.
There’s a saying ‘many hands make light work’. Neh. 3 would be an example of that.
(Ill.) Imagine if there were one laying here upon a sheet & four ppl, one on each corner carried them. It wouldn’t be easy, but it would be doable. Now picture taking two away. It would be harder & slower - if possible. Now one. It would not only be harder & slower still, but awkward to boot & nigh impossible to do. Lastly, what if you had 8? How much easier & quicker it would be!
As we consider the work that we must do here at this church, we need to make sure that each of us are pulling our weight. Don’t be guilty of standing by watching a few struggling to carry the load for the cause of Christ. Grab a corner & work!
They pooled their efforts
They Encountered Problems
These four were doing something that was completely selfless & laborious. They were willing to struggle for a cause and be a help to another. Guess what - that didn’t exempt them from problems.
If you serve Christ and labour to try to honor your LORD and be a blessing to others, don’t necessarily think that the road will be smooth & never a problem.
They had a few problems:
People were a problem
People will certainly hinder the Cause of Christ - in various ways.
People claiming Christ yet living like Hell
Jesus is just a crutch, you don’t need Him
‘All religions are equal’
Man made structures were a problem
I’m talking religious structures
‘You must live it’
‘You must repent of your sins’
‘You have to be filled with the Spirit’
If you’re trying to get others to Christ - all these things will be problems that you will face.
They Encountered Problems
They were Persistent
When they encountered those problems, they could have given up. They could have figured that it’s just not worth it.
But what would that have accomplished? Their lives would be easier, but another would have still not only been crippled but in his sins!
Too many Christians these days are satisfied with their own comfort. They’re too concerned with themselves, and because of that, people suffer.
Thank God these four weren’t like that! Thank God that whatever problem they were faced with, they persisted. They continued on. People were an obstacle - but they found a way. The roof was an obstacle - but they found a way!
(Ill.) Let me tell you something church: You’re going to encounter obstacles. I know that in my ministry, it seems as though I have one after the other. People are sometimes problems. Why? Because I’m me, and they are them. Because of what I preach or how I say something. People are a problem. Satan is a problem. He whispers things to me like ‘Boy you really laid an egg there today’, or ‘You might as well give up, no one is listening to you anyway’. Sometimes it’s just my flesh that gets in the way. Instead of doing one thing, my flesh leads me a different direction. And do you know how easy it would be to just quit? Do you know what I do? I just keep going. Do you know why?
Because we have a God that keeps His Promises
Because we have a God that is worth struggling & sacrificing for
Because we have a commission that makes an eternal difference
Because I’ve read the back of the book & I know who wins!
So I just keep on - and church, you should to! Let’s just be persistent, no matter what comes our way, we’ll just continue - and let’s continue together!
They were Persistent - and thank God they were, because they Prevailed
Those four they succeeded. It wasn’t easy, but when they saw that man forgiven & healed, I’m sure it was worth it!
Paul said: 2Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Paul was satisfied that - though not mistake free - he finished his course. At the end of his life upon this earth, he was satisfied with the race that he’d run. Let me ask you this church - if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, could you say the same thing?
The Crowd heard Jesus Entered, they got Excited and they heard the Word Expounded. Then, we saw the Courage of Four, Lastly we’ll look at the Christ who Can
III. The Christ Who Can
III. The Christ Who Can
Not could, because He still can!
He Can Still Cleanse Sin
1Pet. 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Gal. 1:4 “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”
Ps. 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
I heard it put this way recently - that I have sin in me, but I have no sin on me. Do you know why? Because they’re all on Jesus! Past, Present & Future! Therefore, when God looks upon me, He sees no sin on me, for they were placed upon Jesus!
Jesus did that for me 23 years ago & he’s still doing it today! Just this morning, I had the privilege of leading a little soul unto the LORD & guess what - Jesus still cleanses sin!
He Can STILL cleanse sin
He Can Still Cure Ailments
He can STILL cure physical ailments
He can STILL cure mental ailments
He can STILL cure financial ailments
He can cure emotional ailments
He can STILL cure Spiritual ailments
He can STILL break addictions
He can STILL supply your every need!
He STILL CAN!
He Can Still Confound the Critics
Those scribes that sat there that day looked to condemn the LORD. But Jesus shut them up good.
Jesus can still do that today - but it takes men & women who are not ashamed of the Gospel, who are willing to be used of the LORD to be His mouth, hands & feet
He can STILL confound the Critics
He Can Still Comfort the Saint
Lastly, He can still comfort the saint:
Jesus said: Mat. 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
No matter what you’re going through church, Jesus can help. He STILL can!
He STILL can!