Title: Faith Tears Down Barriers

Focus: We need to put our faith in Jesus as the one who has the power to remove our sins

Function: To motivate the hearers to have a committed, active faith in Jesus and not just a cognitive one.

Text: Mark 1:21 - 2:13

Intro:  This story begins with the authority of Jesus (v.22)
	A.  What does this mean?
		1.  ILL: AcademicJoke-Quote 1 source, plagarism, Quote many, research
			- All scribes did was quote sources
		2.  Mt. 7:29 - They were amazed at sermon on mount, taught w authority
			- But "I" say to you....
		3.  However, Mark does not include any "teaching" of Jesus to clarify 
		     what the crowd meant by "authority"
		4.  Greek word:  exousia (authoritative or ruling power)
	B.  The accounts in Mark highlights not content of teaching, but his actions
	C.  Jesus ministry began with a show of power when the heavens were "ripped" 
	      open in 1:10, and his ministry continues with "power"

I.  (23)  A man with an unclean spirit interupts his teaching
	A.  Imagine what it must have been like to have been there!
	B.  What would you have done?
		1.  (25-26) Jesus was unshaken
		2.  The phrase, "be quiet" is better translated "be muzzled".  Today's 
		      English, it would be "shut up!"
		3.  Why shut up, didn't the man confess Jesus as the "Holy one of God"?
		4.  It was not a confession of faith
	C.  (27)  The crowd's reaction - Amazed.  "A new teaching with ‘exousia'!"
	D.  The sense of this word is clearly "power"

II.  We know Jesus endowed with Heaven ripping power.  What does he do with it?
	A.  (v.29-31) - Jesus heals Simon's mother in law's fever 
	B.  (v.32-35) - News got out, and he gets mobbed AT HOME
		1.  This is worse than being Elvis - He got mobbed by healthy people
		2.  People are thrusting the sick and demon possessed at Jesus
		3.  He heals all night long!  He has to get away.
	C.  (v.36-45) - Another healing, Once again, Jesus had to go into hiding
	D.  So far we see that Jesus has heaven ripping power
		1.  To cast out demons
		2.  To heal sickness
		3.  All with just a sentence - "come out of him!"  or "Be cleansed"

	E.  .  But did Jesus come just to heal?
		1.  (v. 38) - His purpose - to preach
		2.  Jesus was not just concerned with physical ailments
		3.  This is illustrated beautifully in the next account

III.  Jesus goes back home to continue to do what he came for, teach (2:1-2)
	A.  He is about to get interrupted once again in another unusual way!
	B.  (v.3-4) - People were literally coming out of the woodwork!
	C.  What would you do?
		1.  We expect Jesus to heal him.
		2.  (v.5) - Jesus, seeing his faith, says to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven
			a.  (v.6-7) Scribes believe Jesus to be blaspheming - taking glory 
			      away from God
			b.  Natural reaction.  Only God can forgive sins, impossible for 
			      man to do this!
			c.  Remember, this is no ordinary rabbi.  He has POWER
			d.  Can he prove he can forgive sins?

IV.  Jesus proves his power
	A.  (v.8-9) The question.  What is easier?
		1.  To say, "your sins are forgiven"
		2.  To say, "get up, and pick up your pallet, and walk"
	B.  Well, the first is easier isn't it?  That is what they were thinking.
	C.  (v.10-12) With nine words, Jesus proves his power by doing the "easier" 
	      healing the paralytic
	D.  Crowd's reaction - Amazed -- Glorify God

Summary:  Jesus has has the power to bring in the kingdom of God
	A.  Heaven's ripped open, the spirit comes on him.  He has power
	B.  Power over unclean spirits
	C.  Power over sickness
	D.  Power to forgive sins!

V.  All of you are confronted with his power (Rom 1:16) How will you react to it?
	A.  Like demons? (1:24) - Did them no good because not a confession of faith
		- Irony, they understood who Jesus was, people did not.  Did no good.
	B.  Like synogogue crowd who say "that's amazing!" (1:27) 
		1.  Not a lot different than watching David Copperfield make a plane 
		2.  Give a Ben Stein, "Woooow".  It still does no good
	C.  Like the leper (1:44).  That's a little more preferable
	D.  Like the crowd at home (2:12) - Amazed "AND" glorified God

VI.  All of this will still do you no good.  WHAT?
	A.  It will do you no good to 
		1.  Acknowledge him as the "Holy One of God"
		2.  Be Amazed
		3.  To Glorify God
	B.  Why?

Conclusion:  One person we left out in all of these reactions.
	A.  Who had his sins forgiven?
	B.  (2:5) - Jesus seeing his "faith"  forgave him
	C.  The bottom line is "faith"
		1.  Not just mental assent, it did the demons no good
		2.  It is what allows NOTHING to stand between you and Jesus
			a.  No crowd, no wall, roof
			b.  No car, girlfriend, boyfriend, career, college, job, ......
		3.  Maybe there is a roof you still need to dig through 

	E.  Don't straddle the fence:  Story
		1.  Field with fence, those go with God on one side, Devil on other
		2.  Man straddled the fence.  Everyone left
		3.  Satan came back later, looking around, and said - Oh there you are, come with me
		4.  Man said, I didn't choose you, see I'm on the fence
		5.  Satan say - I know, I own that fence, come with me
		6.  True Faith Moves you OFF the fence
INVITATION:  Are you on the fence?  Time to get off.  Faith is not tentative.  If you need to refocus - Come now