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A Man with a Need

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 4:00 am

A Man with a Need

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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April 20, 2022 4:00 am

Do you wonder what it would be like to meet Jesus in person? Join us on Truth for Life as Alistair Begg begins a series exploring several life-changing encounters with Christ. In the first encounter, we’ll hear Jesus’ shocking response to a paralytic man.



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Ever stop to think about what it might be like Jesus in person today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg begins a series called extraordinary encounters will be looking at several individuals who had a life-changing experience when they met Jesus.

In today's message will hear Jesus shocking response to a man who was paralyzed in Mark chapter 2 verse one and when he that is Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days it was reported that he was at home and many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door and he was preaching the word to them and they came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him and when it made an opening. They let down the bed on which the paralytic lay and when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, son, your sins are forgiven.

Now some of the scribes were sitting there questioning in their hearts.

Why does this man speak like that he is blaspheming who can forgive sins but God alone and immediately Jesus perceiving in his spirit that made us question within themselves said to them, why do you question these things in your hearts, which is easier to say to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven, or to say rise, take up your bed and walk, but that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. He said to the paralytic, I say to you. Rise pick up your bed and go home and he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all so that they were all amazed, and glorified God say we never saw anything like this on them return to these familiar resources for those of us who know our Bibles because here we have Jesus dealing with one man's brokenness, not of course the brokenness with which he was preoccupied as we are about to discover know if you have a Bible open. I'll just walk you through it. Mark describes the scene for us in verse two he tells us that the crowds are flocking to Jesus. There are so many people who are coming. There is now no longer room inside or is there room outside and therefore anyone else who wants to come as an immediate problem because of talking to Jesus and what is Jesus doing it is very important. We noted several sentence at the end of verse two and he was preaching the word to that that it really caught his followers off guard when they had announced MUC this. Towards the end of chapter 1, when he had announced to him when they discovered them in the early hours of the morning I would buy himself in a solitary place in the prayer when they told him that everything had gone terrifically well on the previous evening.

The crowds of common folks were set free from demons and others were healed and the inference in the expectation of the disciples, is that Jesus, having begun in such a wonderful way to just keep this going and Jesus had brought them on their heels. When he said let's get out of here regarding our to another place were going to go to villages around here so that I can preach the gospel to them for that is why I have come is very very important. Jesus is involved in the ministry of the word Jesus is involved in proclaiming the word. He is the living word, he proclaims the word of God and in this crowd that is gathered in this all on this particular day he is doing what he said he had come to do teaching them the word explaining to them what the prophets were saying bringing them forward in their understanding of things he wanted them to understand what it meant to repent and to believe the good news to turn around to stop going in their own direction to begin in his direction to leave a broad road that is full of people and leads to destruction, and enter through a narrow gauge into a narrow road that leads to life, which few people actually find I wonder have you entered through that gate. I wonder have you done that turnaround. I wonder, are you here this morning, just as somebody who is interested in these things involved. Perhaps tangentially with the affairs of Christianity and get yourself never touched and changed by the power of Christ. CS Lewis was actually like that CS Lewis was brought up within the framework of Orthodox Christian faith turned his back on it around the ages of 12 or 13 decided that he had enough for a lifetime and moved on. And then in his little autobiography surprised by Joy. He describes that wonderful occasion when the penny dropped and when the understanding dawn and when he knelt by his bed in Cambridge and declared himself, presumably at that time to be the most reluctant convert. He said in all of England. Later on in writing.

He described how, when he arrived in Oxford. He got off the train and he turned the wrong way and as a result of turning the wrong way. He was walking out of Oxford rather than walking into Oxford and he describes how, as he walked away he was saying to himself this is in much of a place of tall. He was unimpressed by the buildings they were getting worse rather than better in the shop fronts didn't look much to until he said I'd stopped and turned around and when I stopped and turned around. Then I saw the magnificence of Oxford. Then I saw the spires. Then I saw the towers. Then I knew where I was and on making that observation. He says and this little adventure was an allegory of my entire life.

Have you ever stopped and turned around. Jesus gathers this crowds and speaks to them were the crowd gathers Jesus preaches and a paralyzed man appears verse three in the game, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four men. Four of his friends clearly determined that they will get him into see Jesus and encountering the circumstances determine there is only one solution and that is the should go through the roof, they are presumably watching eagerly to see what will happen. They have brought the man they are so that Jesus might do for them what they anticipate, but none of them could have been ready for what they hair.

None of them would anticipate the first words from the mouth of Jesus.

They made the opening they let down the bed on which the paralytic land when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, son, your sins are forgiven you. What the man had an obvious problem. They believe that Jesus had the answer to his problem.

What a strange response. They had brought this man. Therefore, a visible change, not for an invisible forgiveness. Surely, for Jesus to react in this way was inappropriate, if not entirely irrelevant. After all, there's nothing to suggest that there was any correlation between the man's illness and his sinfulness as if he was a paralytic because he had sinned badly. The book of Job warns is against equating someone sin with their suffering. So why does Jesus say, your sins are forgiven. The answer ought to be obvious because he's putting his finger on the man's greatest need. That is the need for forgiveness.

Jesus wasn't disinterested in the man's physical condition is regarded as the heel set, nor is Jesus. I'm concerned about your health or your marriage or your relationships, but listen to me carefully and check in the Bible to see if you don't discover that Jesus did not come to add to the sum of our total happiness.

He came to restore us to our relationship with the living God, for whom we were created for. After all, is this court's catechism reminds as the chief end of man and the reason for man's existence is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Man has turned his back on God. We enjoy ourselves more than we enjoy pleasing him. And so Jesus puts his finger on the man's essential need what you might expect with their phraseology like that of the religious establishment that was present would immediately say now were going. That's the kind of thing we should be dealing with. But the reverse is the case. Verse five knows some or six.

Some of the scribes were sitting there questioning in their hearts know Jesus as already been opposed.

You only need to go back to chapter 1 and you discover that he is immediately opposed by the devil in the wilderness. He's been opposed by the demons in the synagogue but now in this particular house in the context of compassion and forgiveness. We might've expected of the religious establishment would have been on his site is not so much that their theology is horrible.

It's quite good, but their deduction is off. What do they say, well, listen, who can forgive sins but God alone will the answer to that is nobody.

So the perfectly right on that one.

But he then say, but this man must be blaspheming why because they assume that Jesus Christ is a mere man, the assume that Jesus is not the Messiah, they assume that Jesus cannot be God. It is impossible for them to conceive of such a thing, and therefore for an individual, not least of all a Galilean carpenter to show up in this kind of contact, no matter what he been doing the previous few days and to make a pronouncement like this is absolutely wrong. So Jesus perceiving what is in their hearts says, well, I've got a question for you which is easier verse nine to see to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven, or to say rise, take up your bed and walk. Actually, he says. More than that, he says in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. That was a very important little piece of the puzzle for the Jewish mind. They knew the Son of Man they knew what that meant. They knew the prophecy of Daniel behold with the clouds of heaven, there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the ancient of days and was presented before him and to him was given dominion and glory in the kingdom that all the peoples. The nations of the languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, one that shall not be destroyed. That's the terminology Jesus uses sick, you don't know you're talking to. So in order that you might know that the Son of Man is his favorite personal designation and you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, lustrous others, relative his bed and go home and see his wife stand up, take up your mat and go home know you see the authority of Jesus to forgive sins is on the basis of his identity on the basis of his identity. When we as Christians say to our friends Lou Jesus Christ came to save sins we have to talk first of all about sins about our embracing of that which is opposed to God disinterested in God. But when we then see that Jesus has authority to forgive sins were not being proud were not being presumptuous. Jesus is the only one in the entire universe who can forgive sins. Jesus is the only Savior because he is the only one who is qualified to save. There is no one else can do it.

These fellows regarded it as blasphemy. Some of our friends regarded as ridiculous on what basis can he make such a statement because as Jesus looks into the eyes of that man whom he addresses. In this way, he realizes where he's heading. He's going to the cross and the forgiveness that he proffers, which is free to all who believe comes at great cost to himself because in the cross, Jesus was going to bear the punishment that sin deserves. In order that men and women who trust in him might enjoy a forgiveness that by nature. We don't deserve Pharisees who are trying to work their way to heaven will never understand our contemporaries who if you have any notion of God, believe essentially that a good God will reward nice people if they simply do their best. They have no place then for cross which stands before them. At the very crossroads of life.

This is why loved ones the cross of Jesus is absolutely central to our proclamation of what we do is possible for me to do in Mark chapter 2 and say I told you this morning about four men who were very nice to their friends and he wanted to meet Jesus so badly that even tour roof off and they dropped him down and then to lay a big guilt trip on you which goes like this. And how many roofs have you torn off recently in order to bring your friends to Jesus. So get out here and bring your friends to Jesus. The process I just taught the Bible know you didn't know you absolutely didn't. There is a there is there is a sub point in passing, but it is not the emphasis of the passage. It can possibly be null because the whole Bible is a book about what God has done for us in Jesus is not ultimately a book about what we do for Jesus in order to please God Of the cart before the horse. I love it when I find stories about people in Scotland and one in my notes, I was thinking that sins would come to the cross.

It makes me think of hymns about the cross and him anything about verse from a him at which goes both safe and happy shelter or refuge tried in suite or tracing place where heaven's love and heavens justice meet what is her Christ appointment to meet at a certain place in time, especially one made secretly by lovers.

I said now that is interesting. I vow to find out about the lady that wrote this in so I checked I found out that her name was Elizabeth.

The fee she lived in her life, in the borders of Scotland and more in in in Melrose. She died at the age of 39 unmarried. She had two sisters. She was known affectionately in the small town as Sunbeam, so I thought to myself isn't quite remarkable that a lady who presumably had seen her friends engaging into Christ's in the beautiful lots sheet filled landscape of the borders should have said to herself. You know, here is my tracing place.

Here is the place of appointment where some someone is love me with an everlasting love. She dies at the age of 39 gathered up into the arms of the only one who loves with an everlasting love. The one who makes an appointment to meet at our secret place. Have you ever carved your initials in the tree in that place and at that tree we said that about our love. It is actually my friends that Jesus has made the tri-state in place with us they had on that tree he signs. Is it where his initials in an initiative taking love for those who have no interest in. For those who are the least interested in you understand what an amazing thing it is, you understand why it is that Jesus says hey listen, give a guy's legs. But what is that I will forgive their sins because if he had his legs back for all of his life and still went into eternity without forgiveness.

He would be lost forever. You see, we don't believe that many of us. I wonder, do you believe it this morning. I have you ever wondered, and this is pure conjecture on my part, I wanted to follow do with his legs when he got them while he went home to what I what I have and that most of the heat when it when one of the children said hey mom, I think I saw your dad that I think I saw dad just coming up the path is white with his friends open. I just came by himself is not possible he could come by himself.

I'm sure you did and into the house. He came and his wife said when the world happened to you soon will you know my friends took me to see that Jesus fell I thought I was just get my legs back but is far better. He forgive my sins. Suddenly the sacrifices make sense to me there pointing forward to what this man is about to do. I need to tell you all about this.

You don't need your legs you got your legs what you need forgiveness and so do you.

So on and so do you daughter and so to the people next door. I wonder did he uses legs to make his way to the cross. Was he standing there at the crucifixion of Jesus realizing in that moment I walked great cost.

His forgiveness came because after all he going to see Jesus in order that Christ might deal with his legs only to discover that he came to deal with his heart is a very real danger in contemporary America in Christian circles that are churches are increasingly filled with people who have a genuine interest in Jesus taking care of their fellow and superficial beats, but I've never understood nor have been prepared to acknowledge that my greatest need is the forgiveness of my sentence. Horace, the Latin dramatist when he was encouraging his students to write said to them when you're when you're writing a drama.

Do not introduce our God to the drama unless the plot demands it. Don't don't just put guards everywhere in your drama save a guard for when you need one well into the drama of human experience comes God, Lennon and McCartney wrote so many songs in the we can work it out. 1965 Lennon Rd. help me to understand their here I am confronted by the great predicament of my life, you're here this morning. God searches and knows your heart.

You want to say we can work it out affixes I get by with little help from my friends or do you want from your heart say help help crisis response to the cry of help addressing not only what we find to be our superficial needs of the deepest longings of our hearts and to experience physical healing.

This world is ultimately insignificant. If we enter eternity I'm forgiven listening to Alister Bragg this is Truth for Life. Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer were finding out how easy it is to misinterpret the gospel if we don't understand God's word.

That's why a Truth for Life. We invite you to open your Bible. Our mission is straightforward to teach God's word without adding to it, or taking away from it. It's teaching that you can trust to be true, as the Bible says to make you wise for salvation. Today we begin a series in which were learning about individuals whose lives were changed when they met Jesus.

Many people encountered Jesus. Some chose to follow him. Others ridiculed him. You'll meet several of these individuals in the book were talking about today a book titled saints and scoundrels in the story of Jesus request your copy of the book, saints and scoundrels.

When you give a donation to support the ministry of Truth for Life to give, click on the book image you see in the mobile app or visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate now, here's Alister gracious God, we bow before you look upon is in your mercy, we pray that all that is true and right may find a resting place in our hearts and nothing that is extraneous or untoward vanishes from our recollection meters Lord where we are began by saying she was ourselves some aversive, pure, thinking that if we could just fix one or two superficial elements in our life.

Everything would be squared away and yet now we beginning to wonder. Perhaps it is this broken relationship. This alienation that is the basis of all of our alienation's we want to say with that lady Elizabeth beneath the cross of Jesus. I fain would take my stand shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land a home within the wilderness and arrest upon the way from the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day I take across your shadow for my abiding place. I asked norther sunshine in the sunshine of your face content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss. My sinful self.

My only shame my glory. All the cross now unto him who is able to keep us from falling presenters faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion now and forevermore about the join us tomorrow will see how moral religious people can still be without hope and without God, the Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living


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