Mark 2:4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. (NKJV)
We were looking at a passage in the Gospel of Mark this morning at church. In Mark 2, because of miracles and teaching, Jesus was constantly besieged by the crowds. They pressed in against Him, pushing and shoving, touching, grabbing, jockeying for position. The crowds wanted to see more, experience more, hear more… be a part of “more”.
In Mark 2:4 we find the usual scene where the crowds so engulfed Jesus inside a house while he taught and healed, that someone truly in need of Jesus could not get to Him. Did the able-bodied, well fed, religious folks see the paralyzed man (or other feeble people on the outskirts) and clear out to make a way to Jesus? Since Jesus was well known for healing sickness and deformity, did the able-bodied crowd have pity or concern for the lame knowing Jesus may be the only chance they have for wholeness? Did they give up their own desire to be up front with “the popular guy” and allow someone else to come in for ministry?
Picture this scene (Jesus… the “ministry”) surrounded by throngs of crowds wanting “more” and in the process, the true needs of the genuinely needy (spiritually and physically) can’t get to Jesus because they are either unable, or “don’t fit” in the crowd.
I couldn’t help but picture what has become pretty common in modern Western Christianity. You have the “church” (the ministry work) in the center, thronged and pressed in by crowds of Christians (church members, attendees) who want “more”… more programs, more resources, more teaching, more entertainment, more youth activities, more support groups, more affirmation, more help… while there is a strange absence of the “untouchables” and “uncomfortable” in our midst: the unintelligent, the dirty, the odd, the weak, the disfigured, the outcasts, the smelly, the needy..
Occasionally someone “outside” is brave enough to “dig through the roof” or fortunate to have some good Christians who will “get them in the door” but for the most part it would APPEAR that we have the same situation now that Jesus faced: throngs of people clamoring for “more” from the “ministry work” instead of allowing the ministry strength and resources to be allocated to the truly and genuinely “poor in spirit” in need of rescue and help. Much (most? all? almost all?) of our “church” effort and resources are to fulfill the constant pressing for “more” by able-bodied members.
I’m not even sure the exact point I want to make today. It was just a vivid picture that popped in my mind while contemplating this passage.
It makes me want to step back, turn around, and look to see if I’ve got my back to people who need Jesus but can’t get to Him because I’m in the way.
What about you? Any comments or thoughts about what I’ve written today?
Lord God, help us to love and have compassion on those who can’t get to You because we are busy spending all our resources and energy on “more” ministry for ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?