Mark 2:2-5 - So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them. Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic, carried by four men. Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Recently my morning devotions were from Mark 2, the story of the four friends who brought a paralyzed man to Jesus but had to let him down through a hole in the roof because the crowd around Jesus was so thick they could not get to Jesus any other way. Normally, when I read that text I think about the commitment of the friends to get the paralyzed man to the Lord. And that is something worth noticing. But this time when I read the text I was struck by the actions of Jesus. He stopped preaching and healed the man who was brought to Him.
We know that Jesus was a great preacher. The fact that such a crowd arrived to hear Him reminds us of His effectiveness in preaching. There is power in preaching, the scriptures remind us of that in numerous places. But in this instance, Jesus stopped preaching His sermon and did something else to help the man.
I believe in the power of preaching, but I also believe we must offer practical help to people in their time of need. Churches that merely preach, but do not back up their preaching with action that flows from the biblical truth sermons offer, are missing an important aspect of the sermon, the "doing." When Jesus stopped His sermon and healed the paralyzed man, it proved His preaching was from God.
Though I may not be able to do things exactly the way Jesus did, surely, I can learn something from His example. As a preacher, I must learn to live what I preach and lead my church to put into action all the lofty words they hear in a sermon. We must be living sermons in order for our spoken sermons to have value.
Lord, help us live out the truth heard in sermons. Amen.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is a church planter and author who has lived in New England since 1993. He is a happy father of three young adults, a blessed husband of one great wife, a joyful grandfather, a thankful cancer survivor and convinced that New England needs Jesus more than ever!