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Help for a breakthrough

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Title: I want a make a difference

Text: Luke 5:17-26

Introduction: In 2008 Olympics, we have seen some incredible feats of athleticism and a breakthrough moment for swimmer Micheal Phelps who won 8 gold medals.  The world was stunned when he won his 7th by a fraction of a second. And we were all amazed when he one the 8th beating the long time record of Mark Spitz.  But what impressed me was how he won it.  Yes, Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer ever!  But for the 8th gold medal, he did not achieve it on his own effort.  He won it with 3 other teammates who also swam at world record paces that aided Phelps to win his 8th. Michael Phelps couldn’t do it alone he needed help by some dedicated friends. My beloved, you may not be an Olympic athlete competing for a gold medal or have some one close to you that will make world history and you helped them.  But you can help somebody who needs to experience a type of glory the Olympic gold metal can’t give.  By getting someone to Jesus, they can get the breakthrough that they need! 

RQ:  What are you will to do to help somebody get a breakthrough?

I.    Faith based Objective

In order to help somebody to get a breakthrough, you have to have a faith based objective. The text says there were some men who brought a paralyzed on his bed. They sought to bring him where Jesus was and laid him before him.  Jesus was in the house. They had an objective; if we can get him to Jesus and put him as his feet, Jesus can heal him. They sought a way to get this done.  Sought in the original language means to seek in order to find by thinking, meditating, reasoning to enquire into. They had a well thought out plan to get some help for someone they care about.  These men knew what Jesus was all about. 

Let us pause right here to identify who these men where carrying.  This man was paralyzed.  He could not move.  His nervous system was not functioning.  He had no feeling or muscle control. It cause by damage to the spinal cord (center of your nervous system).  It was said to be incurable.  You not might know anybody who is physically paralyzed but you do know somebody who is spiritually paralyzed.  They can’t feel or touch because their spirit was damage and nobody had a cure.  But I stop by to tell you that there is a cure for those who have become spiritually paralyzed.  These men knew the cure. The text in verse 17 says that the power to heal was present.  Jesus could make him feel and spiritually move again! But don’t worry if you can’t do it physically, you can do it by the power of faith!  

II.   Overcome obstacles with Persistent faith

To help somebody get a breakthrough will not come easy. How many of you know it is difficult enough for you yourself to get in the presence of God for a breakthrough let alone get others in His presence.  You are going to need persistent faith.  Look at verse 19a. “And they could not find how they might bring him in…because of the crowd. These men could not get the one who really needed help to Jesus because of the crowd.  Look who was in this crowd Pharisees and teachers of the law.  They were the religious and professional folk who questioned who Jesus really was and not because of relationship.  It is the crowd that hinders any entrance to get the help they need.  There are people in your life who are an obstacle for you to get someone to Jesus that really needs him.  The Pharisees by nature were obstacles.  The word “Pharisee” means to divide or to separate.  There will always be people in a crowd that there goal is to divide and separate you from getting to Jesus. But because of this crowd these men could not get their paralytic friend to Jesus.  However, they were determined to meet their objective and had to be persistent.  Where there is a will there is a way.  These men did not have to fight to get in. They did not argue with bouncer. They did have to pay anybody.  They got creative with their faith to get their friend into the presence of God which is our next point. 

III.        Be Original by Creative faith

In order to help somebody get a break through, you have creative faith and come up with some original methods.  They did something probably was unheard of to get to Jesus.  Look at the text in 19b.  Since they could not get in, they had an idea. They would go up on the roof of the house and remove the tile and lower the man right in front of Jesus.  There are going to be times that you can’t use a normal approach to get someone to Jesus due certain circumstances.  You got to be creative and come up with an original idea to get that need met.  So these men demonstrated teamwork and ingenuity to get the job done. They had to work together for a common goal.  But our problem is nobody wants to work together.  We want to select who we work with and who we are going to help.  When we act like this we make it about us and not about Jesus. But it is never about you.  It is about bring others into the presence of God to get blessed. 

These men teach us that there is more than one way to skin cat. Sometimes you have to maneuver through some stuff.  We live in an age that is not going to get to Jesus by the old methods.  We have to be creative.  The message doesn’t change. But our methods have to be original.  This starts with creative faith.  Faith sees ways that are not normally seen in the natural.  Faith sees the impossible becoming possible.  These men saw a way and moved into action believing it was going to work.  If what we do for other is focused on or around Jesus, it will work because Jesus is there!

IV.  Offer Sacrificial faith; it costs!

In order to help somebody get a breakthrough, it is going to cost you something.  Do you have sacrificial faith?  These men went on the roof and broke through the ceiling to get their friend to Jesus.  They had to make the opening.  A typical roof of that time was constructed of timber laid parallel to each other about 2-3 ft apart. Sticks were laid crosswise over them and upon them they would put reeds and thistles. Then they would overlay it with dirt packed down to make it water resistant (2ft thick).  In the spring grass grew. Not only did it take some work and be creative to get their friend to Jesus but they got dirty.  How many of you are willing to get dirty sacrificing your comfort and ease for somebody to get to Jesus for a breakthrough?  But there is something else not so evident in the text that is not mentioned.  These men did not live in this house that they damaged the roof.  Somebody was going to have to pay.  My beloved you have to have that type of sacrificial faith that is costly so somebody else can get a break through?  Is your faith costing you anything?

V.   Result: Jesus is observing your faith

These men’s desperate attempt was noticed by Jesus himself in verse 20. When nobody else sees your faith, Jesus does and He will reward you!  Look at the text.  When he saw their faith, he spoke to the paralytic and said, Man your sins are forgiven.  He saw their faith and blessed the one who they cared about.  Thier faith lead to a breakthrough for their friend.  My beloved, your faith may be responsible for somebody else’s salvation.  Jesus wants to see your faith so that family member will be saved etc…!  God is watching our faith.  Tap your neighbor and tell them God is watching!  He is looking for somebody who has faith.  It pleases God when we have faith and moves Him into action and somebody is going to blessed!

     When Jesus saw their faith He said, “Man, you sins are forgiven!  Here Jesus goes for the gold!  He heals this man for eternity, healed his sin sick soul.  His body was body secondary, the silver. This forgiveness of sins suggests that is ailment was a result of sin in his life.  If the truth be told all of us got into some stuff that hurt us because of sin.  It may not have been as severe as paralysis but it still hurt us.  You worried yourself sick because of sin.  You drank yourself into a stupor because of sin.  You got shot and cut because of sin.  But not all sin has physical effects on you.  It can affect you emotionally and spiritually.  Your physical condition may not change when you encounter Jesus but your heart will be right and that is what He wants most!  Not only did Jesus respond to their faith but he does it in front of those who don’t have any faith.  The text says that the Pharisees and the scribes began to reason, saying “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  My beloved, even in the midst of unbelief Jesus will unleash his power according to your faith to show that He is God especially when people question His ability.  Look what he does in front of these non-believers. He says in verse 22b. “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?” Pause. They were questioning Jesus’ ability.  Then in verse 23, Jesus challenges them saying “Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to say “rise up and walk?” In verse 24, Jesus tells the scribes and the Pharisees “But that you may know…”He says the paralytic man, arise, take up your bed and go home!”  In verse 25, it says that he immediately rose up and took what he has been laying.  What Jesus spoke a word to him enabled him to take control over what he was depending on.  Many of us having been depending on certain things to give us comfort, but a word from the Lord gives you authority over your dependence!!  The text goes on to say that he went home glorifying God.  He walked home with praise.  And all that were around were amazed about what they witness and were filled with fear saying in v. 26 “We have seen some strange things”.  We seem the strange things that people do to achieve their goal in life.  explain 

Close: The word strange in this text is “paradoxas”. This is where we get the word paradox from.  It means that they had an experience with the something different from what they were use to.  Faith causes paradox.  It is not suppose to happen like that but it happens by faith!  Faith makes you experience something that was contrary to opinion and popular belief.  It means it was uncommon, unexpected, incredible, extraordinary and wonderful on that day.  Faith made them experience a teaching that was contradicted popular opinion. They experienced extraordinary love by people that care about somebody in need. They experienced the remarkable power of God. They experienced unexpected forgiveness of sins. They experienced wonderful praise of all those with witness a miracle. Faith caused the breakthrough!

Get them to glory by faith!....  Jesus is our gold medal and you can get it by faith! 

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