Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team.
Our service theme this past Sunday was “God calls us to act.” The sermon was preached by visiting preacher Scott Ridout, the president of our denomination, Converge. Based on the text Mark 2:1-5, his theme “One Team, One Dream, One Moment in Time” reflected the fact that Jesus didn’t call us to be salespeople, he called us to be witnesses.
He described the ministry of Jesus at Capernaum, where people were coming to see Jesus and be healed. In the middle of that situation, the friends of the paralytic man loved him and lowered him through the roof. They didn’t have a real plan or an answer for their situation, but Jesus did.
When Jesus forgave the man’s sins, he showed that the biggest issue was the forgiveness of sins and whether Jesus had the authority to offer it. By doing that, he demonstrated how, while religions other than Christianity offer advice about what to do, Christianity is about what Jesus did.
What Jesus does for people leaves his followers as witnesses, not salespeople. While salespeople are experts who sell a product, witnesses have an experience to offer. The paralytic who was healed and had his sins forgiven wasn’t an expert, but he was a witness.
Likewise, when we understand what Jesus has done and that God has placed us near people who Jesus loves, God can use us as witnesses. God has placed us where we are to help people meet Jesus.
Questions for prayer and reflection:
How did the Holy Spirit speak to you through this Scripture and sermon?
In your own words, how would you describe the difference between an expert and a witness?
What difference would it make in your life if you shared Jesus as a witness who had an experience to share rather than as a salesperson selling a product? What kind of experience have you had of Jesus?
How has our church as a community experienced the work of Jesus in ways that we can testify to as witnesses? In what ways might we fall into trying to become experts on Jesus and trying to sell him like a product that people should buy rather than a person who has healed us?
Do you know anyone who is looking for forgiveness? What does it usually take for someone who hasn’t yet experienced Jesus to feel a need for forgiveness of their sins?
Jesus surprised everyone by forgiving the paralytic’s sins before even healing his body. How has Jesus surprised you in how he has met you and dealt with you?