Friday, 15 January 2021
Title: We have never seen anything like this
By Ps Cheng Cheung

Mark 2:5 ”When Jesus saw . . .faith”

Mark 2: 1-12
This is the story of the paralytic man whose friends lowered him through the roof as Jesus spoke in a crowded house, in the hope that Jesus would heal him.

Picture this poor man lying helplessly in front of Jesus. In those days, unlike today, society did not provide amenities for the paralysed. A paralytic was dependent on his friends to carry him anywhere he needed to go. He couldn’t dress himself or take care of his bodily functions. Worst of all, he could not earn a living; he could only beg. Physical healing was his only hope to lead a normal life. He and his friends had heard of Jesus’ power to heal. Desperation and faith drove them to use desperate means when they saw the crowd at the house where Jesus was teaching.

Imagine the dialogue at that crucial moment:

Jesus says, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” It must have startled the guys on the roof. One of them had his head down through the opening so he could hear. The other guys asked him, “What did Jesus say?”
He relayed, “He said that his sins are forgiven.”
“ His sins are forgiven? He did not heal him? You mean we went to all the trouble of digging this hole in the roof and letting him down just so he could get his sins forgiven? We want him healed!”

If you were one of the four friends is that what you would have said? It would seem that for a person in such a position, the need for physical healing far surpasses anything else. But first Jesus said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” To heal the man’s body would have made his life more comfortable. But without healing his soul, he would have died and faced God’s righteous judgment. His main need was forgiveness of sins, not physical healing.

Today, what other proposals for paralytics do you think might have been suggested?
This man needs financial assistance. After all, he needs it for basics like food and lodging.
This man needs educational help. Then, perhaps, after some training he would be able to fend for himself.
This man needs emotional healing. This will enable him to see that he is a worthwhile human being, and be weaned from the idea that he is totally dependent on others. Then, his relationships with his family would certainly improve, right?

Jesus didn’t say any of the above because He knew forgiveness of one’s sin is the primary and most pressing need of every person. That is why Jesus came, to offer forgiveness of sin, and thereby restoration of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, the Living God. More importantly, the logical point that follows is this: Forgiveness of sin is such a pressing need that we should do all we can to bring our friends and loved ones to Jesus.

I want to share a true story which happened many years ago. John and Terry (not their real names) were good friends. They were golf buddies and enjoyed the outdoors and other sports together. John was a keen Christian. Terry wasn’t, but was open to the gospel. However, because of objections from his family, he preferred not to stir things at home. John knew he could arouse his good friend’s interest if only he could get him to go to church.

John decided to do something e͟x͟t͟r͟a͟o͟r͟d͟i͟n͟a͟r͟y͟. Early one Sunday morning, John turned up very early at Terry’s house, at about 7:00 am. He said to him, “I am taking you to my church this morning. Since you said you would like to come one day, I will just read the papers here, while you take your time with your breakfast, alright? You do not have to hurry. When you are done, and ready to leave, we will leave. We have four services at my church, so we can catch any of the four.”

So off they went. And guess what? Terry was struck by the sermon. It spoke to him. He had so many questions at the end of the service about how to become a Christian that John said, “Let’s go ask the pastor right now.” They did. Afterwards, Terry gave his heart to Jesus that very morning! How blessed that he had such a caring, persistent friend in John.

Can you see that the four friends in this passage needed that same p͟e͟r͟s͟i͟s͟t͟e͟n͟c͟e͟, especially when they came to the house where Jesus was teaching and saw that he was not accessible because of the number of people crammed into the house? They could easily have been put off by that obstacle, but instead were determined to help their friend receive healing. If they saw it was of utmost importance for his physical healing, how much more should we, like John, see the importance and urgency of the need for spiritual healing for our unsaved loved ones and friends.

My Prayer

Thank you Lord, for these stories of loyal and close friends. Help me be totally convicted of this truth from these stories that forgiveness of sin is man’s greatest need. Help me be a loyal and close friend too, to the unsaved in my circle of friends.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五,2021年1月15日
标题:我们从来没有见过这样的事
作者:张祯祥传道
翻译:陈月妃姐妹

马可福音2:5 “耶稣见到…信心”

马可福音2:1-12
这是一个关于瘫子的故事,当耶稣在拥挤的屋子里讲话时,他的朋友们把他从屋顶放下来,希望耶稣能医治他。

想象一下这个可怜的人无助地躺在耶稣面前。在那个时候,与现今不同的是,社会没有为残疾人提供便利设施。一个瘫痪者需依靠他的朋友把他带到任何他想要去的地方。他不能自己穿衣服,也不能自理。最糟糕的是,他无法谋生,只能乞讨。身体康复是他过正常生活的唯一希望。他和他的朋友们都听说过耶稣有医治的能力。当他们看到耶稣进行教导的房子的群众时,绝望和信心驱使他们使用这铤而走险的手段。

想象一下在那个关键时刻的对话:

耶稣说,“小子,你的罪赦了。”这肯定把房顶上的人吓了一跳。其中一个人从房顶的开口伸出头来这样他就能听见了。其他人问他,“耶稣说了什么?”他转述,“祂说他的罪赦了。”
“他的罪赦了?难道祂没有医治他吗?” 你是说我们费尽周折在屋顶上挖了个洞让他下去,只是为了使他的罪得赦吗?我们要他得到医治!”

如果你是四个朋友中的一个,你会这么说吗?似乎对于这样一个处境的人来说,身体康复的渴望远远超过其他任何东西。但耶稣先说:“朋友,你的罪赦了。”医治那人的身体,会使他的生活更舒适。但若不医治他的灵魂,他就死了,且要面对神公义的审判。他最需要是罪得赦免,而不是肉体上的痊愈。

今天,你对这个瘫痪者还有哪些建议呢?
这个人需要经济援助。毕竟,他需要经济援助来维持基本生活,如食宿。
这个人需要教育上的帮助。那么,也许经过一些训练,他就能自食其力了。
这个人需要情感上的治愈。这将使他看到自己是一个有价值的人,并从完全依赖他人的观念中解脱出来。那么,他和家人的关系肯定会改善,对吧?

耶稣没有说以上任何一句话,因为他知道赦免一个人的罪是每个人最主要和最迫切的需要。这就是为什么耶稣来了,赦免我们的罪,从而恢复我们与天父,永生神的关系。更重要的是,接下来的逻辑观点是:罪得赦免是如此迫切的需要,我们应该尽我们所能把我们的朋友和所爱的人带到耶稣面前。

我想和大家分享一个发生在许多年前的真实故事。约翰和特里(化名)是好朋友。他们是高尔夫球伙伴,并一起享受户外运动和其他运动。约翰是个虔诚的基督徒。特里不是基督徒,但他对福音持开放态度。然而,由于家人的反对,他宁愿选择不惹怒家人。约翰知道,只有让特里去教堂,他才能引起他的好朋友的兴趣。

约翰决定做一件不寻常的事。一个星期天的清晨,约翰很早就到了特里家,大约早上7点。他对他说:“今天早上我要带你去我的教堂。既然你说过有一天你会来的,我就在这里看报纸,你慢慢吃早餐,好吗?你不必着急。当你做完准备离开时,我们就离开。我们教堂有四个崇拜,因此我们可以赶上四个崇拜中的任何一个。”

后来他们走了。你猜怎么着?特里被证道信息打动了。这信息向他说话。在崇拜结束时,他有很多关于如何成为基督徒的问题,约翰说:“我们现在去问问牧师吧。”后来,特里在那天早上把他的心给了耶稣!他有像约翰这样那么关心人及执着的朋友是多么有福气啊。

你能看出这段经文中的四个朋友需要同样的执着吗?尤其是当他们来到耶稣所教导的那所房子,看到他因为挤在房子里的人太多而无法接近的时候?他们本可以很容易地被这一障碍所阻碍,但却决心帮助他们的朋友得到治疗。如果他们认为这对他的身体康复至关重要,那么我们是否更应该像约翰一样,看到我们未得救的亲人和朋友需要心灵的康复的重要性和迫切性。

我的祷告

感谢主,感谢这些忠心密友的故事。请帮助我从这些故事中完全确信罪得赦免是人类最大的需要的真理。帮助我,让我在未得救的朋友圈中,也成为一个忠诚和亲密的朋友。奉耶稣的名祷告。阿门。