And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. ~Mark 2:3-4
In the Bible, we read of some interesting foursomes. There are the notorious four horsemen that represent the terrible events of the Great Tribulation. There are the four seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. In Ezekiel, we have the four living creatures that have the faces of a lion, ox, man, and eagle. We have the four gospel accounts of the life of Christ. In professional golf, a foursome is when four golfers team up to go against four other golfers. A winning team will be referred to as a fearsome foursome. This morning, we are looking at a foursome combination that speaks vividly to us about the importance of working in harmony to bring the unsaved to Christ.
We see the COMPASSION.
Jesus was in their town and was at a home teaching the Word of God to people who came to hear Him. Word had spread of Jesus’ appearance and of people who had been miraculously healed of infirmities. A man who was sick of the palsy wanted to get to Jesus. He had four friends who saw an opportunity to help their friend and joined up together to take him to Jesus. Someone has said that compassion is your hurt in my heart. They were moved with compassion for their friend’s plight.
We see the COMPULSION.
These four men were compelled to get their friend to Jesus. Distance did not stop them. The burdensome weight of carrying their friend did not stop them. The size of the crowd and the fact that the front door entry was blocked with people did not stop them. They did not look for a way out of this commitment: they looked for a way in! They did not volunteer to help their friend if it was convenient: they volunteered because they were compelled. Compassion compels us to win souls. The fact that sinners who die in their sins go to Hell compels us. The fact that Jesus was in the house for a limited time compelled them to get their friend to Him. When we are compelled, we make no excuses and get things done.
We see the CREATIVITY.
They could not get their friend in through the front door. They looked at each other and considered another means: through the roof. They went up the side of the house and carefully removed the covering over the roof. I imagine this resulted in debris falling and hitting people below that were seated in the house. I imagine that the noise may have been a momentary distraction. Then, they each took their end of the stretcher that they carried their friend on, and carefully lowered him down to where Jesus was. Now, I imagine that Jesus stopped teaching at that moment as this man was being lowered. Their act of love caught the attention of everyone, especially our Lord. Let’s find ways to get people to Jesus! Let’s be willing to do more work, spend extra money, and do whatever it takes to get people to Jesus.
We see the CONFIDENCE.
These men had no doubts about their plan and about the Lord’s ability to heal him. Jesus focused His attention on the man sick of the palsy and the faith of his four friends. Jesus commended their faith. Great faith must precede great results. Great faith leads to daring, risky actions. Jesus spoke the word and healed this man sick of the palsy. This man rose up in the presence of the assembly, picked up his stretcher, and walked out with it in his hands. The service ended in a glorious fashion!
We see the CRITICISM.
The scribes criticized our Lord, the sick man, and probably the four friends. When you step out as a team to win souls, expect people to criticize you. Just keep going and let the Lord work on your behalf.
We see an unbeatable foursome. Teamwork makes the dream work. Make every effort this year to work in harmony with the ministry you are in, your church, and the Pastor’s vision to bring people to Jesus!