My friend Cody preached this sermon recently…great Word my brother!
Mark 2 :1-5 Jesus Heals a Paralytic
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
I remember when we first met. I had been “set up” by a murderous clan that wanted me to be the fall guy. You came along and with words of wisdom helped me see a clear path out of that cave of frustration. Mining for silver, I found trouble, and a friend. In your youth and vigor you were fearless and selfless (mostly). You showed a propensity of the love for Justice driven by mercy. Where did you go?
In pursuit of righteousness with a gang of brothers you were ambushed by the enemy shot in the back by cowards. Wounded you bled and then I, Tonto, came along and nursed your wounds. You saw your friends and brother die in that ambush, yet something in you willed yourself to carry on and live the pursuit.
You used your brother’s vest to fashion a mask to hide your identity. Motivated by portions of fear and justice, you went about righting wrongs for others and that became your way to deal with the wrongs done to you. The concept of justice is worth fighting for and worth the risk of losing everything, including your soul. Salvation is not found in surrender – it can’t be because evil wins when we do nothing.
So many times you rode off into the sunset a winner, and a loser. Your pride intact, your cause defended, yet your soul was fragmented. You justified your actions because of the greater good. Eventually the fight became too much and you surrendered. Salvation was lost. No cause, no justice, no peace, just the stark reality that your mask and guns only provided a temporary medicinal rush for the bitter pain within.
You walked away. The cause seemed hopeless, the people were plastic, the posse indifferent, the life a myth. You checked out and rode off into the sunset because people were, well, people, and full of themselves, masked by the cause, driven by “purpose” yet void of virtue.
“F_ck it! F_ck it all!” you said. The badge has no honor only the self-serving agendas of the few. The pursuit is not worth the trouble. Too many dusty roads, too many broken lives, too many fights with outlaws, too many cold rainy days without shelter, too many sleepless nights, too many heavy bags, it’s just too…damn…hard.
Tonto shows up again; the faithful friend. The faithful one who fights the fights with you, nurses your wounds, travels dusty roads, rides through the rain, stays up with you through sleepless nights, and helps carries your baggage. He loves his Keemosabe.
He says little, but when he speaks you know it is truth. He is the trusted friend that finds you in your time of need. He is the scout that helps you get pointed in the right direction. He is the rear guard that has your flank when you stumble or get off course. His clothing and skin may look like the same material, but inside He is gold.
Your relationship was forged from times of hard work and the search for the precious metals found deep in earth and rock – our earth – HIS Rock. Now you need him. What you may not understand is He still needs you too sometimes. There should be no a-Lone Rangers or Tontos. We cannot go it alone; we weren’t built for that.
John 14: 16-20 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.