Crowded Situations

Mark 2:1-12—“When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, ‘What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!’ Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, ‘Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk”? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.’ Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!’ And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this before!’

God specializes in crowded spaces and no-room situations. When things separate us from Him, God can work in us to bring us closer to Him. Romans 3:23 says that everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. Sinning—missing the mark—crowds God out of our lives. But remember—God specializes in crowded spaces!

For God to do a miracle in us when our lives are crowded, we have to not give up, not run, and not hide. The friends of the man in this story didn’t give up or run away when it got difficult for them, and we should be the same way. If there had been no doubters in the room after Jesus forgave the paralyzed man, the story could have stopped right there. The point of the story wasn’t for the man to be healed physically, but to show Jesus doing what He came to Earth to do—forgive.

Keep digging, in spite of the circumstances. There are always obstacles between us and Jesus, but the friends of the paralyzed man didn’t stop digging until they reached Him, even though that meant digging a hole through a roof! Imagine how many miracles might have been barely missed because people gave up due to a circumstance. The five friends had faith in who Jesus was and what He could do—faith never stops digging because it knows what it is expecting to uncover. Jesus knows that challenges build confidence, which builds audacity, which can change a crowded situation into a ministry opportunity.

Allow your crowded life to change the crowd. When we follow our own way, we never find our true purpose in Christ. The real miracle in Mark 2 is that the man’s sins were forgiven, and that his legs were healed to minister to the rest of the crowd. His miracle became his ministry. We can use our own crowded situations to change the world, when we follow Jesus and see His purpose. Jesus has the power to change our entire community. He can use any situation to change someone!

Watch week four of our winter series No Thanks Here

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