What does the Church need?
Mark 2:1-10 “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!”
Where is the Church in this story?
Are we the house full of people? A packed church is a successful church, right?
Are we the 4 men carrying the paralytic demonstrating faith for their paralysed friend? Bring people to Jesus is what we do, right?
Are we the religious leaders, the custodians of all that is righteous and not? Keeping a moral compass is our task in this fallen world, right?
Are we the paralysed man who is without power and is broken inside and out?
Or are we Jesus? What picture of Jesus is the Church portraying? A Jesus who gathers? Surely that is the goal. A Jesus who preaches? Yes, we all need to become better at that. A Jesus who challenges mind-sets of the religious? Yes to all these things. But one thing that seems to be lacking, one thing that we must seek, one thing that we come close to on many occasions and when it is demonstrated we marvel and we cheer.
The Church needs to be Jesus with authority:
- An authority that is heard in our speech – Why does this fellow talk like that?
- An authority that makes us like Christ – He’s blaspheming!
- An authority that brings a loving new direction to people – Who can forgive sins but God alone?
- An authority that re-writes the story of broken people – He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.
- An authority for this generation – We have never seen anything like this!