Just Like Jesus – GOAT: Greatest Of All Time
The New England Patriots once again prevailed in the Super Bowl and the ensuing conversations about the game, players and coaches are endless. As I did my early morning session on the treadmill at the gym this rainy Monday morning a major debate was taking place on ESPN. The question was who is the greatest of all time in sports; Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. For those who do not follow sports Michael Jordan is considered by most basketball aficionados the greatest player to have graced the NBA. Tom Brady has quarterbacked the New England Patriots to 6 Super Bowl titles, most in NFL history. I had two major thoughts as I listened. First, it is difficult to compare players who compete in different sporting activities and second, aren’t there more important matters to be discussed? In keeping with debating the greatest of all time we embark on a study of the book Mark.
Pastor Ed, back in the saddle, left no doubt in presenting the first two chapters of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus Christ is the greatest of all time since He is God. The list of the “amazing” in Mark 1 and 2 is amazing. In our culture, an event is notable when the celebrities, the rich, the politicians and the pop stars show up. Now think of the baptism of Jesus. This is one of the few times recorded in the Bible where the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit show up at the same time. The significance of this is mind boggling. It doesn’t stop here. Healing after healing; Miracle after miracle; demons cast out; and lives forever changed.
One act of faithful friendship recorded in Mark 2 captures my respect and awe. If we believe Jesus is who He says He is, how would we respond? Four men bring a paralyzed man to be touched by Jesus. So convinced are they of Jesus’ compassion and power these men carry their friend and when blocked by the crowds find a way to get him before Jesus. Jesus seeing their faith healed the man. Each of us as we go through life will need at times faithful stretcher bearers to bring us to Jesus when we ourselves cannot. I hope and pray I will be such a faithful friend, stretcher bearer and brother in Christ.
Another aspect of this story intrigues me and impresses me. The Pharisees, Sadducees and who knows what other intellectual wannabes are present. Jesus says “your sins are forgiven.” From what the eyes can see, this is all internal and spiritual. From one perspective anyone can say this and who can challenge if this takes place as it is unseen to the human eye. Jesus asks “which is easier?” I can imagine the murmur in the crowd, saying “sins are forgiven” is easier. Jesus knowing our unbelieving hearts says what is plainly visible – get up and go home. There is no hiding here. The paralyzed man does just that, picks up his pallet and goes home and the crowd goes wild. If you were there and saw this happen, would you believe? What would you do different now that you know?
GateWay is bringing a Women’s event in March called IF. This conference asks the question “If God is who He says He is, then . . . .? The stretcher bearers participated in a miracle because they answered the question of IF. What miracle do you need in your life? Ladies, this will be a learning event not to be missed. Register at www.gatewayvisalia.com/women