As followers of Jesus we have declared that “Jesus is Lord” and we believe that after Jesus was crucified on a cross that God raised Him from the dead. But do we really believe that Jesus can take away the sins of others? More specifically, do you really believe that Jesus died for your friends and that only He can save them from God’s wrath? Or do we not understand what we have been saved from or what our lost friends are in danger of.
Do we understand what we have been saved from?
Millions of dollars are spend every year on mission trips, basically taking the name of Christ to places than aren’t home. Mission trips are not bad, in fact they are really good and we are being obedient to Christ by taking His name to the “ends of the earth.” But the “ends of the earth” is the last place mentioned in Acts 1:8, Jerusalem is the first, Jerusalem was the disciples home. We are called first to be witnesses at home. Why is telling the people closest to us about Jesus so hard? It really is! It can feel so weird and awkward. Why?
Could it be that we are too worried about what friends, family, neighbors and co-workers might think of us or Jesus if we bring them the gospel? In our heads they are already saying:
“You want me to be some religious freak?!?”
“You think I need help?”
“You think I am going to go to hell? Who do you think you are?”
“Jesus is just some weird tooth-fairy god!”
“Jesus can’t save anyone from any sin!”
“Jesus shmesus, you got to be kidding me!”
Instead of being worried of what our friends will think about us or Jesus, what if we asked the question, “What will Jesus do if we bring our friends to Him?” It’s a different way to look at the situation and could change how we look at telling people about Jesus and our responsibility. Mark 2 gives us the story of 4 men who carry their paralyzed friend to Jesus. The men can’t get their buddy close to Jesus, so they climb up on top of the house where Jesus is, dig out the roof and lower their friend to Jesus.
What will Jesus do if we bring our friends to Him?
I can’t imagine the looks on their faces. These men had to be pretty bold to even do this in the first place, or these guys had to be cared out of their minds. Either way, they don’t utter a single word. Getting their friend in front of Jesus was as far as they got in their plans. They had not rehearsed what who was going to say what to try to convince Jesus to heal the man or a grand speech, they just knew they had to get their friend in front of Jesus. Mark 2:5 gives us Jesus reaction, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” Did you see it! Did you catch what happened?
Remember, the men didn’t utter one single word to Jesus, Jesus just reacted. Two parts of Jesus reaction should be freeing to you to bring your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to Him.
First, because of whose faith did Jesus forgive the man’s sins? The bible says “their faith”! Because of the faith of the friends Jesus forgave the man’s sins. I am not saying that the paralyzed man did not believe, but what we are given is because of “their faith”, which points to the faith of the friends, Jesus forgives sins. What do you believe Jesus will do when you bring Him your friends?
Second, because the friends were faithful to bring their the man to Jesus, Jesus takes over. Jesus is the only one who can save our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers from their sin, death and God’s wrath. Therefore, once we bring our friends to Jesus, we have done our part. The man’s friends got Him to Jesus, they were done, that’s why we don’t find them saying anything, that’s all they could do.
I urge you to not be afraid of what those around you might say about you or Jesus if you share the gospel with them. Instead, do you believe Jesus can really save your friends from their sin. Be faithful to Jesus and bring your friends to Him.
Bring your friends to Jesus and then let Jesus do what Jesus does.