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Intercessory Prayer

Life & Love of Christ Week 2  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We look at the life of Jesus and how it proves His love for us.

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Intercessory Prayer

Intro

Welcome to True Worship Church! We are glad you decided to be with us today.
This is the 2nd installment of our current sermon series titled “The Life & Love of Christ.”
I wanted to look at Jesus’ story of His life and show proof that He loves us.
I preached last week about the ultimate part of His story when He died for us on the cross and how we included us in to His story by dying alongside 2 criminals.
What a beautiful picture we saw of three of them on three crosses.
Well, today we continue to look at Jesus life and things He did to show His love for us.

What is intercessory prayer?

It’s prayer for someone else. It’s standing in the gap for someone in need. I think it’s more than that but I’ll explain later.
We’re going to look at a passage of scripture I’ve preached many times before but I see something different in it, something new I’d like to share with you.
I love telling stories and I love listening to them. I like to find God in stories. Any and everything that happens to me, I try to find God in it.
I don’t want to miss God in what He’s doing in my life.
We sometimes take stories for granted but that’s the best way to learn.
Turning things and experiences in to a movie in our mind is the best way to learn.
If you watch television, you are watching a bunch of stories. People spend hours watching stories of peoples lives. If we don’t watch, it’s because we don’t think the story is interesting enough. Isn’t that what reality tv is all about? Watching people’s stories.
Every year, we have the Super Bowl. This day is all about football right?
Not necessarily. If you watch the game, there is a lot of music and commercials!
We even vote and debate on which commercial is the best.
The best commercial is determined by which commercial told the best story!
Budweiser, Skittles and Old Spice normally have pretty good commercials but Budweiser tells really good stories.
This helps us to learn and helps us to remember.
-People come up with steps and processes for us to learn. Jesus didn’t do it that way.
He simply said, “Follow me. “

So, I want to look at this passage in and see the story played out, envision it as a movie in our head.
Let’s read When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. 3 And they *came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Being unable to [a]get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof [b]above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “[c]Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins [d]but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, aware [e]in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Capernaum

What do we know about Capernaum?
Capernaum – beach city, resort city, people like to be there because it was by the water.
So, we can picture the surroundings. Add this to your movie.
Warm weather and water. Sounds like the place to be to me.

Jesus Had a House

Did you catch it? What I read in the 1st verse? When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.
- Jesus went home! Did you know Jesus had a house? We see He is always moving from place to place doing ministry but here early in His ministry He has a house.
- Jesus went home! Did you know Jesus had a house? We see He is always moving from place to place doing ministry but here early in His ministry He has a house.
- "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."– How could He have a house? Well, here we see He lived in a house. I don’t know how long but at least for this period, He did.
What kind of houses were there during that time?
They weren’t made of wood because they didn’t have a lot trees in that area. So, picture these homes made of mud and stone. They were more so made that way because of the climate.
That’s what the houses were made of and the roofs were flat. The roof was like an extra room, an area to chill and fellowship.
Jesus Didn’t Stay Home A Lot
There was a crowd at His home. So many people were there that people could not get in or out.
Picture that! Jesus probably didn’t like being at the house because He probably couldn’t get any rest.

Some Came

The scripture says “they came” with 4 of them carrying the man who was cripple.
What does this tell us? A couple of things:
1. There were at least 5 people
2. None of them were his family or friends (no mention of this) –
Now listen, these stories shouldn’t make sense to us. Remember, these are the stories that turned the world upside down!
We can’t read the stories of Jesus with our lens but with contextual historical lens. We need to go there in the story to see!
In the 1st century, the family took care of their family members who had disabilities.
-the story does not tell us his family or friends brought him
-these were probably believers (members of a faith community)
A faith community is a community of believers who support each other, care for one another, and do what they can to help people find their faith in Christ through their love!
The faith community’s response to adversity is faith in God. These folks STAND IN THE GAP!
These are strangers who bring the paraplegic to Jesus. These ae believers!
These are people who see that this man has a need for Jesus and STAND IN THE GAP!

Tore Through the Roof

You know what happens next. They couldn’t get him in through the front or the back so they decide to take him up to the roof.
-they dig a hole in Jesus’ roof . Did you hear me? They dig a hole in Jesus’ roof!
Religious folks would have a problem with this. You can’t do it like that. You’ve got to come to Jesus like this!
No, you’re not dressed right to go before God. You’ve got to get it together in order for God to bless you. They have determined all the ways for you and be to be acceptable before God.
But we see here none of that stopped them from carrying him up to the roof and digging a hole through the roof.
You need some people like this in your life. You need people around you who know what Jesus can do and will STAND IN THE GAP.
Jesus is preaching while parts of the roof is coming down.
Jesus just keeps on preaching!
This lets us know Jesus doesn’t mind you tearing His roof up!
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Do you want your healing bad enough?
Do you want your breakthrough bad enough?
When you call and I don’t answer, the church is closed, nobody around to do it for you. You are just going to have to go to Jesus for yourself. Tear His roof up!

Called SON

He saw their faith and says to the paraplegic, ““[c]Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Y’ALL SHOULD BE TRIPPING RIGHT NOW.
Y’ALL SHOULD BE TRIPPING RIGHT NOW.
REALLY, NOBODY FEELS NOTHING?
This is the 1st and only time Jesus calls anyone SON!
Why is this so significant?
He had been abandoned by his family.
Before we need spiritual healing, we need relational healing!
He probably never ever thought he would hear anyone claiming him as son and the 1st word out of His mouth was son!
Your God’s son, you’re my son.
This had to be overwhelming and a blessing at the same time.
Jesus says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Why does Jesus say your sins are forgiven? Because in the 1st century, they believed that if you had a disability, deformity, disease or something was wrong with you, it meant you or your parents or someone in your family had sinned causing your condition.
Now the scribes, the teachers of the law, were ticked when they heard this because they are thinking only God can forgive sins but this is a man before them.
Before Jesus heals the man, He gives them theology lesson!
He’s about to teach them something they didn’t learn in Bible college or seminary!
He is telling the scribes, the religious leaders and the paraplegic that what they believe about God is wrong!
1. What is He telling the scribes & religious leaders?
Sickness, disease and disabilities are not the cause of sin in a person’s family.
2. What is He telling the paraplegic?
His disability is not his fault or due to him doing something wrong.
He needed relational healing (son) and then emotional healing (sins are forgiven)….
-he needs to know his condition is not his fault or that he had done something wrong
Can you imagine the freedom this gives the man who was lowered down through the roof?

Take Your Prop/Closing

Jesus says, “get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”
Go home to the people who have abandoned you, turned your backs on you, hurt you and talked about you.
Go home to the people who have abandoned you, turned your backs on you, hurt you and talked about you.
Show them the same love and forgiveness and I’ve shown you.
He says take your mat because we all need a prop! Show them what God has done for you.
Here’s another story about Jesus’ life and how it demonstrates His love for us.
I want to give another definition of intercessory prayer now. This story is symbolic of intercessory prayer.
Intercessory prayer is not only praying for others but it is standing in the gap by tearing off Jesus’ roof for others.
The roof could be people between you and your blessing, it could be bad thinking, it could be how you feel about yourself, it could be anything that is preventing you getting what God has for you.
Intercessory prayer is ripping off Jesus’ roof.
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