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What is your greatest need?
Perhaps you feel like your greatest need is
Finances are tight, and you really need a raise or a new job to make a little more money
Perhaps you often feel alone, and what you need is community, you need close friends
Perhaps your single, and you feel like your greatest need is to find husband, or find a wife.
For some of you your greatest need is to have some peace and quiet, the chaos of kids and the busyness of life has left you exhausted.
As we have seen Mark presents Jesus as the great king who is coming - the greater David who will rescue his people.
And in this passage we see that Jesus not only a king who is establishing his kingdom, but he is a king who is keenly aware of the needs of his people.
This story is a popular
Jesus is aware of both our physical needs and our spiritual needs.
And he is the one we appeal to in our times of need.
We serve a God who cares deeply for us!
We serve a God who is not only concerned about the advancement of the gospel, but he is concerned about you getting that much needed afternoon nap.
We serve a God who not only cares about sickness like cancer, but also cares for the splinters our kids get after playing outside.
Jesus truly does care, and he hears you when you bring your needs to him.
Lets look at the passage...
A couple notes on this passage before we get into the text:
This healing story culminates the first cycle of healing stories that are connected to the calling of his disciples
Jesus calls 4 disciples (1:16-20) followed by four healing stories
1. Man with unclean spirit 2. Peters mother in law 3.
The leper 4. The paralytic
Following this passage Jesus calls Levi which is followed by one healing story
Mark then names the 12 apostles 8 of whom have not yet been named and it is followed by 8 healing stories.
We also see this story of the paralytic begins a five rapid fire stories where Jesus has conflict with the religious leaders
The conflict really begins to intensify as we move into chapter 2
Here we begin to see the shadow of the cross fall upon the pages of Mark
This first conflict in chapter 2 is the same conflict that leads us all the way to the crucifixion.
And this conflict begins in Capernaum, the same place where Jesus performed his first 4 miracles.
So look with me at 2:1-2
Back in Capernaum
Mark 2:1-2
Now, Jesus was out in the wilderness after cleansing the leper.
If you remember Jesus was unable to go back into the town because the leper told everyone what had happened.
So Jesus ends up staying out of the town, as if he were a leper.
However, after some time Jesus returns to Capernaum.
Mark says, “it was reported that he was at home”
Most scholars agree that the geographical location of his home was actually Peter’s home where Jesus healed his mother in law.
Others say that this was Jesus’ own home as he moved to Capernaum when he began his ministry.
Peter’s house becomes a sort of head quarters for Jesus while he is ministering in Capernaum.
Capernaum is the place where Jesus spent most of his time, most of his ministry was done in or right around the city of Capernaum
slide of map
A city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Gospel writers refer to it as Jesus’ “own city” (Matt 9:1) because after leaving Nazareth, He went to live in Capernaum
Capernaum was a city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Gospel writers refer to it as Jesus’ “own city” () because after leaving Nazareth, He went to live in Capernaum
Capernaum was a city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Gospel writers refer to it as Jesus’ “own city” () because after leaving Nazareth, He went to live in Capernaum
You would think that the town where Jesus lives, the town where the gospel was proclaimed by Jesus himself would be a city with great spiritual growth and blessing.
However this is not the case.
Outside of Jerusalem Jesus had the hardest words for the city of Capernaum.
Capernaum was hard hearted toward God.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:23-24…
Jesus says that the Sodom, the city that God destroyed due to its sin will have an easier time on judgement day than Capernaum!
This is town that Jesus lives in, this is the town in which he does most of his ministry.
Maybe Jesus should have reworded some of his sermons
Lets look back at verses 1-2
Maybe Jesus should have been a little more sensitive to the culture and tried to be relevant
Maybe Jesus should have changed up his philosophy of ministry that would have awarded him a bit more favor with the people?
Jesus preached and lived the perfect gospel message, as Jesus is the gospel.
Yet, people there were still heard hearted.
Jesus was faithful to his calling, his success in preaching was not determined by baptisms or conversions, rather his success was wrapped up in his faithfulness to God.
God has called all of us to be proclaimers of the gospel, yet our standing before God is not based on how many people get saved, or how many people come to church, or how many people life transformation stories you’ve been apart of, your standing before God
Mark 2:1-
So now Jesus is back in Capernaum and the news gets out that the great healer and exorcist is back in town!
So many people come to see Jesus at his home.
There were so many people that the house was full and the door was blocked and people were outside in the streets trying to hear what Jesus had to say.
Mark tells us that Jesus was preaching the word to them.
This would not doubt be a similar message that he preached to the other town when he left Capernaum in 1:38
Its the same message that he preached in 1:15 saying, The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; Repent and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus continues to tell them that the kingdom they have been waiting for is here.
And they need to repent and believe and follow the Christ.
A Paralyzed Man and His Friends
Once again the buzz in the city would have been electric!
Capernaum was not a big city, only about 1500 people, and they all knew about Jesus.
They all knew about his powers to heal and they all were aware that he was talking about a new kingdom.
You could imagine the crowd around the house.
People trying to look through the window
Mothers crying because she can’t get close with her sick child
Introverts wanting so bad to see Jesus but trying to avoid being caught in the big crowd
There were a lot of needs people had, and they wanted Jesus to meet their needs
Within all chaos of Capernaum that day there were 5 men who had a great need
Their greatest need was not to make more money
Their greatest need was not to remodel their house
Their greatest need was not to go on vacation
Their greatest need was not for peace and quiet
Their greatest need was to get their friend to Jesus so he could be healed.
This need was so great that they would do whatever it would take to make it happen.
Look with me at vv.3-5
One of the five was a paralytic, a paralyzed man, unable to walk.
(the bible doesn’t tell us if he was paralyzed due to sickness or injury)
This group of friends unable to get into the house because of all the people went up to the roof to find a way to Jesus
House in 1st cent.
Israel were about 15ft.
tall and had flat roofs with a stairway outside the house.
Part of the roof of the house was made out of wood and was used for work, sleep, or even as a lounge to enjoy the nice weather
The other part of the roof was made of clay, straw, reeds, dirt and other like materials.
This was called a thatch roof
So the friends unable to get into the house go up the stairs onto the roof, in order to dig through the dirt and clay and reeds of the roof to make a hole in order to lower their paralyzed friend on his bed down to Jesus.
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