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Staying on the Right Track by Choosing the Right Friends

Mark 2:1-12

Adapted from Promise Publishing’s VBS Material for 2012 “All Aboard The Kingdom Express” Lesson # 4, as well as material from Steve Smith, minister Mission Viejo C of C


  1. The company we keep
    1. Do we consider those we spend time with? Do we evaluate the impact they have on our life?
    2. What criteria should we use in picking our friends?
    3. The ultimate criteria for choosing them should be, “Do my friends bring me closer to Jesus?” Dale Jenkins
  2. Verses 1-5
    1. V 1- Jesus home
    2. V 2- No time to rest
      1. no room, not even at the door”
      2. he was preaching the word to them”
    3. V 3-4- Friends that care
      1. Luke says this regarding their intentionsthey were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus” (Lk 5:18)
      2. They would not allow the situation to take them off track of helping their friend.
        1. Again Luke (5:19) says “but finding no way to bring him… they let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.”
        2. They would find a way
      3. What an amazing example of committed friendship.
        1. Evaluation time:
          1. Are WE those type of friends to others?
            1. Do we, like these friends, bring our friends closer to Jesus at all cost? How far would you go?
          2. Are OUR friends, those types of friends to us?
            1. Do our friends help to bring us to Jesus?
    4. V 5- Jesus saw their faith
      1. THEIR faith, i.e., the faith of the friends.
      2. Is our faith evident? Visible to those around us?
    5. V 5- Your sins are forgive”
      1. Was this man aware of his greatest need? Were his friends aware of this man’s greatest need?
      2. Do we want our greatest wished granted or our greatest need met?
      3. Why is there a difference between the two?
  3. Verses 6-7
    1. Correct statement (“Who can forgive sins but God alone), wrong conclusion (“He is blaspheming”) 
      1. Their conclusion that none can forgive sins but God alone is correct.
      2. Instead of then believing Christ to be God, they conclude he is a blasphemer.
    2. Christ’s intent in his statement
      1. It was to demonstrate to them that he is God.
      2. Jesus, by forgiving this man is making a claim to be God
  4. Verses 8-12
    1. V 8-11
      1. Immediately
        1. Mark loves this phrase using it between 35-43 times in his 16 chapters.
        2. Mark focuses on Jesus actions in his ministry.
      2. V 9- Backing up his claim
        1. Easier to sayis not necessarily the easier thing to do
          1. It may be easy to say “your sins are forgiven” but the act, the atoning death on the cross that made it a reality was not easy.
          2. Jesus is dealing with which is easier through human eyes
          3. On a deeper level, however, it is harder to forgive sins, because only God can forgive sins—at the cost of Christ’s death on the cross. The logic here is that, since Jesus can do the visible miracle, this is evidence that he has the power to do the invisible miracle (forgive sins).” Hans Bayer
      3. V 10- Christ’s wish was for them to know that He has authority
        1. This is a key thought through the entire NT. It should remove any questions about his forgiving of a man on a cross. It should give us the assurance of our own salvation.
      4. That the man rose and went home is visible evidence of Jesus’ authority.” Michael Wilkins


    1. V 12- Glorified God!
      1. The miracle of Jesus yielded the desired fruit- God is glorified.” D. Jenkins
      2. V 12- How do we respond to the blessings in our lives? Do we see them clearly? Does it result in us glorifying God?
  1. Take home points:
    1. Points about friends:
      1. Real friends are not just there for the good times
        1. Many feared palsy (KJV) as a contagious disease in those days.
        2. That’s the way it is with real friends. They are there both when you have money in your pocket and when you can’t pay your power bill. They are there when you are “eating, drinking, and being merry” as well as when you are waiting for the chemo to kick in. They are there when your child is born and when your spouse dies.” D. Jenkins
        3. Personal experience with Dysen and the Wallace’s
        4. Prov 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity
      2. Real friends understand the need for each other
        1. One of the great benefits of the church should be the strength gained in each other. A place for us to come and encourage, comfort, laugh.
        2. These friends worked together for a common good.
      3. Choose friends that bring youcloser to Jesus
        1. Prov 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
          but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
        2. Walk with the wise!
      4. Be the kind of friend that brings otherscloser to Jesus
        1. There are many things you can do to bless the life of your friends, but the greatest is not when you give them a ride, or take care of their kids, or listen to their worries, but it is when you take them to the One who can bear all their burdens.”D. J. 
        2. Does our friendship lift people’s lives up to God? Does our friendship impact their eternity? Is God glorified as a result of your friendships?
      5. What are some ways our present friendships can bring glory to God?
    2. Jesus Your Deepest Need
      1. Make him your deepest wish
      2. Understand that all other wishes are insignificant
      3. Jesus is NOT going to play the rotten practical joke of giving your deepest wish- until he has shown you [your deepest need] …was Him all along.” Steve Smith