Bible Reading: Mark 2:1-28
God has given us the responsibility to bring people to Jesus. In this passage we see four men overcome a difficult situation to assure that their friend met Jesus. How many times have we allowed some difficulty to stop us?
- We are afraid that they may not be receptive.
- We are concerned that they may get upset with us.
- We are worried about what other people may say.
Get over it. They are worth the risk. They need to know Jesus. You be the one to take them to Him.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
There is a story in my family that goes way back to when my father, Pop (that’s what the Grandkids called him), was just a kid. One day, Pop, his father (my Grandfather), and two brothers, B.Y. and Tiny, were out hunting.
All of a sudden, Tiny said, “Hey, Dad, I think I’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake.”
His father said, “I don’t think so, son. Rattlesnakes always rattle before they strike.”
To which Tiny asked, “Then, what is this?” And showed him two small holes in his calf with drops of blood on them.
His father took his gun barrel and shook the palmetto bushes right behind them and, “Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzz.” Sure enough, there was a rattlesnake in the bushes. I guess it’s just an old wives tale that rattlesnakes always rattle before they strike. Either that, or that rattlesnake had never hear that old wives tale and didn’t know that he was supposed to rattle before striking. Who knows. At any rate, my Grandfather carefully aimed his gun at the snake and…well, let’s just say there was no more snake.
Now, there is something that you need to know about my Grandfather. He was a Medical Doctor. One of only two Doctors, at the time, who lived in Lake Wales, Florida. So, instead of taking Tiny all the way back into town, and letting the other doctor take care of him…he just did what the other Doctor would do. He took a snakebite kit out of his bag…removed a razor…made two small cuts in the shape of an “x” at the place of the bite…took out a rubber suction cup…used it to suck the blood and the venom out of the snakebite…applied a little antibiotic cream on the wound…put a bandage over it…and he was done. So, what did they do next? They went on hunting.
Fast-forward to 2015. My Grandson Bradyn (Courtney’s middle son), went outside to take the garbage can to the street. As he was walking along…he suddenly felt pain in his foot. He looked down…and there was a snake on the big toe of his right foot. He shook it as hard as he could…but it hung on. He kept shaking his foot and finally it came off. He ran inside and told Courtney, and his father, David, that he had been bitten by a snake. They thought that he had just stubbed his toe on something sharp. But when they looked…sure enough…he had two small holes on his toe that looked like a snakebite. David ran outside and right where Bradyn had told him he found the snake. And guess what kind of snake. You got it…a rattlesnake…a Pygmy rattlesnake. Quickly, he killed the snake and came back into the house. Reverse the fast-forward. That’s what David did in his mind. He remembered the story about my Uncle Tiny being bitten by a rattlesnake and how they had sucked the poison out with the rubber suction cup. So, he knew what to do. One problem, though…they didn’t have a suction cup. What else could he do? Are you ready for this? He put Bradyn’s big toe into his mouth and sucked the poison out. Three times he sucked the poison out. Now, listen closely. Don’t…ever…do…that. Why not? Because if you have a cavity, or a cut in your mouth…the snake venom will enter into your blood system, go to your brain, and you will probably die. Personally…I don’t know which would have been worse…the snake venom, or the toe jam. Just sayin’. But David did it, anyway. He was going to do whatever it took to save Bradyn’s life. And, as it ended up, while he did risk his own life…he did save Bradyn’s life. You see, they called several area hospitals until they found one that had rattlesnake anti-venom (that’s the medicine that keeps the snake venom from killing you). You are supposed to get an injection of the anti-venom within 45 minutes. They rushed him to the hospital…it took around 30 minutes. But, that was okay, they knew that they would be there in time. At the hospital, they put them into a room in the Emergency Center. They waited, and waited, and waited…no anti-venom. The 45 minutes passed. 1 hour passed. 2 hours. 3 hours. No anti-venom. Finally, after 3 hours…they finally gave Bradyn 3 bags of anti-venom. A little late at that point. Later that night, the Doctor who was on call came to the room. She told Courtney, “You know that your husband is a hero, don’t you?” With a ring of pride in her voice Courtney said, “Of course, I do.” The doctor said, “No, I don’t think you realize what I mean. You see, if he had not sucked the venom out of Bradyn’s toe…he may not have lived. We thought we had the anti-venom…but we didn’t, and we had to send somewhere else to get it. It took so long to get here that normally it would have been too late to give it to him. But, when your husband sucked the venom out…he saved your son’s life. Your husband put his life at risk…in order to save your son’s life.”
Jesus was in the city of Capernaum. He had healed many, many people…and now, many, many more people had come to Him, to be healed. The house where He was staying was so crowded that no one, I mean “no one”, could get through the door. But nothing was going to stop four guys from getting their friend to Jesus. He couldn’t come on his own…because he was paralyzed and couldn’t walk. So, they had carried him on a pallet. When they got to the house they saw that they couldn’t get it. But like I said…nothing was going to stop them. So (you aren’t going to believe this), they climbed up on top of the house…carrying the man on the pallet with them. They started removing the roof…and digging a hole through it. Then, they attached ropes to the corners of the pallet…and carefully lowered their friend down into the house. Right in front of Jesus. Tell me that wasn’t a surprise to everyone there. When Jesus saw that they had faith in Him to heal the man, He said, “My son, your sins are forgiven. Stand up, pick up your pallet, and walk home.”
Now, it was wonderful that the man was healed. But, I want you to see something very important. How did he get to Jesus? Did he walk? No. Did he ride a donkey? No. Did he call a cab? Double no. His friends carried him there on a pallet. But they didn’t stop at just getting him to the house. No. They climbed up on the roof and dug a hole through it. Don’t you know that there were some people telling then to stop? Don’t you know that they were a little embarrassed in front of people that they knew? Well, yeah. But that didn’t stop them. Nothing was going to stop them from bringing their friend to Jesus. They knew that more than anything else in life…their friend needed to meet Jesus. And they were willing to risk everything to get him there.
What would you do to save a friend’s life? How far would you be willing to go to save a family member’s life? David sucked the poison out of his son’s foot. He was worth the risk. These four men probably had to pay for the roof that they tore up. But he was worth the risk…to them. Would you be willing to take a risk…to bring someone to Jesus? To see their life changed? Would you be willing to take a risk…to see them accept Jesus as their Savior?
Who do you know that needs to meet Jesus? Why don’t you be the one to bring them. Don’t let anything stop you. They are worth the risk.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,