The second chapter of Mark’s gospel begins with a rather remarkable story. Jesus was preaching the word of God to people in a crowded house. Some men carried a paralyzed friend to the house, hoping Jesus could help him. However, they could not get to Jesus because of the crowd. Not to be deterred, they tore a hole in the roof and lowered the man into the presence of Jesus. Jesus forgave the man of his sins, and then, to prove that he had the authority to forgive sins, he healed the paralyzed man, who then proceeded to walk out of the place in full view of everyone. This amazed everyone there and prompted them to praise God for the miracle they had just witnessed.
From this episode in Mark we find some important principles about bringing people to Jesus.
First, it requires some work on your part to bring someone to Jesus. It takes time and effort. Make sure you put witnessing on your schedule. If you don’t make it part of your agenda, it probably won’t get done. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Second, sometimes it has to be a group effort to bring a person to the Lord. Most of the people that I have seen come to Christ have done so as a result of the efforts of multiple people in the congregation. Working together, we can do so much more than we could if we try to do it all by ourselves.
Third, it might cost something to bring people to Jesus. No doubt there were some practical people in the crowd who wondered who was going to pay for fixing the roof! Sometimes you have to spend money to bring people to Jesus. Let us not spare any expense in our evangelistic efforts. This should be an important part of every church’s budget.
Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that spiritual healing is far more important than physical healing. Jesus immediately addressed the paralyzed man’s greatest need—to be forgiven. For him to be able to walk with God was far more critical than his need to be able to stand on his own two feet. Too often we pray more about physical needs than we do spiritual needs. I visited a church in Myrtle Beach that had a “lost list” printed in their bulletin along with the typical list of people who needed prayers for healing. Let’s never lose sight of the priority of evangelism.
Finally, let’s never underestimate the power of prayer. Some people will resist our efforts to bring them to Jesus. They don’t want to listen to us tell the story of the gospel—the good news that salvation is readily available through the crucified and resurrected Jesus. They politely decline our invitations to attend church services with us. However, no one can stop us from praying for their souls. As we bring them to Jesus in prayer, perhaps their hearts will soften up to the point where they will allow the message of salvation to work its wonders on their soul.
Let’s all be diligent in doing all we can to work together to bring people to Jesus.