Determination - Part I

“And again He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as a bout the door: and He preached the Word unto them. And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” —Mark 2:1-5

Have you ever felt like giving up? Have the problems of life been so overwhelming that you wanted to throw in the towel right then and there? I think more often than not, scores of believers have gone through moments in life where they have wanted to abandon this Christian walk and turn back. But before you make a decision that you will regret for the rest of eternity, I pray that the words in this article will help you to keep pushing, and keep moving forward in the faith.

Jesus had just returned to Capernaum after weeks of ministering around the area of Galilee. He arrived at the home of Peter, one of His soon-to-be disciples, and noise of His return spread throughout the city. As a result, scores of people began to descend on Peter’s home, and it soon filled to capacity, and then some. Oh, to have been there that day to hear those words of life come from the lips of this man called Christ, to see the miracles performed and hear from Christ the message of hope would have been remarkable. No one spoke like this man, and the words that would flow from Him were like water to the dry and thirsty soul; like fresh manna from heaven to those who were hungry. And as the crowds began to swell, onlookers, the sick and diseased, and the curious all clamored to get a glimpse of Him, to see what He would do. As the people gathered around, He opened His mouth and delivered the greatest words they would ever hear—He preached the Word. Seeing that Christ was in a house, and those who were in attendance were so close in proximity, Christ did not “proclaim” the gospel, but rather spoke the gospel in such a way that was conversational.

There has never been a man like Jesus Christ; never in history has there been someone like Him. Every so often, major news publications will post about the most influential people in history, with Christ being placed somewhere in the middle of the pack. However, He is so different from everyone that there needs to be a special category just for Him, for He was unlike any other person who has ever lived. There is no one like Him. As He would speak, not only were His words of such power, but His life would make these words come alive for all to experience. His very words were anointed with power by and through the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, for without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, those words would have been lifeless. It goes to show us, as ministers of the gospel, that we need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to properly do what God has called us to do. Without His anointing, there can be little done for the kingdom of God. At the same time, if Jesus Christ needed the Holy Spirit, where does that leave us today?

As word began to spread throughout the city, there was a man who had been paralyzed for many years, lying on a cot of some sort. Whatever the reason for his paralysis, there was little that he could do. Maybe he thought that he would never see the day where he would walk again. Maybe he thought to himself, “This is my lot in life, and it won’t get any better.” As a result, he was dependent on others for everything. Not only was this man paralyzed physically, but he was also paralyzed spiritually. This man was a type of man without God, for without God we are spiritually paralyzed. Without God, we cannot do anything, we cannot change our situations, we cannot change our circumstances, and, on top of that, we have to depend on the arm of flesh to change things about us, which is woefully inadequate.

But somehow this man heard about Jesus Christ, and thought to himself, “Maybe, just maybe I could somehow get to Jesus.” But how could he? He was paralyzed with no way to get to Christ. The only answer for the problems that humanity faces is Jesus Christ. No other individual, no other ideology, no other deity can do for man what Jesus Christ can do. I want you to read these words very carefully: Jesus Christ is the only answer for your problems. No matter how big the problem may be, Jesus is bigger. No matter how overwhelming your situations may be, Jesus Christ can solve it. Whatever you need, Jesus is the answer. I can sense the presence of God as I write these words: Whatever you need, God is able. You need to believe that. And this paralyzed man was about ready to see just how powerful Jesus Christ was.

As this man could do nothing for himself, he had to depend upon others to move him from place to place. And as this man heard that Jesus Christ was in town, so did these four men. These four men caring for this paralyzed man represent not only those who personally bring someone to Christ, but also earnestly seek the Lord for the salvation of others. They wanted their friend to come to Christ, and they would stop at nothing to see to it that he would receive his miracle. They did not ignore their paralyzed friend; they did not claim that they did not have the time, nor did they complain of the task at hand, but they were determined to get to Jesus. I want to deal with this for just a minute. I want you to see how important that this is. These four men, whomever they may have been, cared so much for their paralyzed friend that they didn’t mind the hardship of carrying him from place to place. They didn’t mind the task of looking after him, and they did not mind the responsibility that came with caring for this man. But they knew, as well, that the only answer for their friend was Jesus.

This series will be continued in the January 2019 issue of The Evangelist.

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