Introduction: Have you ever wondered what is the best way to bring
people to Jesus? Should we go door to door? Talk to people when they
are trapped next to us in an airplane? Pass out flyers? Stand on the
street corner and proclaim the message? Let’s jump into our lesson
and examine some stories of people being brought to Jesus!

  1. The Roof Rippers

    1. Read Mark 2:1-2. Is Jesus tackling people in the street
      to listen to His message? Is He trapping people in a house
      to listen to Him? How many people were there to listen to
      Jesus? (They did not have even standing room – even the
      places outside the door were taken! Jesus had a crowd.)

      1. Did the people come to Jesus’ “home?” What does this
        suggest about the need to tackle people in public?
        (It suggests that if you have a worthwhile ministry,
        people will come to you!)

    2. Read Mark 2:3-4. Here is an example of bringing a person
      to Jesus. Assume you are one of the friends who wants to
      bring this paralyzed guy to Jesus. What obstacles do you
      have to overcome? (Lots! First, this guy cannot get to
      Jesus on his own. You cannot bring him by yourself, so you
      have to work with others. Second, when you get there, the
      crowd is so big you cannot approach. Third, you have to
      break into the property of someone else to get Jesus’
      attention! Last, you have to lower the fellow down to

      1. Do you think these friends had to fix the roof later?

      2. How many of you have been willing to
        do so much to
        bring someone to Jesus? I assume some of you have
        been willing to drive someone to church. Would you
        have you been willing to drive someone if it took
        three other people to help? What if it involved house

        1. What would you do if you brought a friend to
          church and it was full and you had no place to

        2. What lesson do we learn about
          witnessing from
          this story so far? Is it just passing out tracts
          or flyers and running away? (No! This is an
          example of extreme, determined, personal
          involvement! Tackling people in public is by
          nature impersonal.)

    3. Read Mark 2:5. Whose faith did Jesus see? (Every
      translation I consulted renders this as plural: “their
      faith.” The friends who brought this paralyzed guy showed
      their faith in going this far to bring him to Jesus.)

      1. If you were one of the guys who brought the paralyzed
        guy, would you be discouraged at this point? Did they
        bring this fellow to be forgiven of his sins?

        1. Couldn’t they get his sins forgiven down by the
          temple where the crowd was limited?

    4. Read Mark 2:6-9. Are the teachers of the law right?

      1. Do you agree with the logic of the argument that
        Jesus’ made to these teachers? (The teachers of the
        law were exactly correct in thinking only God can
        forgive sins. Jesus was also correct in saying “talk
        is cheap.” As an aside to this exchange between Jesus
        and the teachers: If you do not believe that Jesus is
        fully God, you are not paying close attention when
        you read the Bible!)

    5. Read Mark 2:10-12. Do you agree with Jesus’ logic here? If
      you heal, are you God? If you heal, do you have power to
      forgive sins?

      1. Let me just spin your mental wheels a moment. Does
        Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:19 fit in with Jesus’
        suggestion in Mark that if God gives you the power to
        heal, He can also give you the power to forgive?
        (This story and Matthew 16:19 challenge my
        traditional thinking. Let’s consider carefully the
        logic of this story. The teachers of the law believed
        that only God could forgive sins. Jesus did not
        dispute that conclusion. Instead, He argued that
        proof that He was God was found in His ability to
        heal. I agree this is some proof, but it would not be
        conclusive proof for me. However, Jesus did not say
        this was conclusive proof.)

    6. Let’s turn next to another story in Mark.

  2. Our Power to Heal

    1. Read Mark 9:17-18. We are going take this story out of
      order for a little bit. Tell me why this man says that he
      “brought [Jesus] my son” when he brought the son to some
      of Jesus’ disciples? (Apparently, the father believed, or
      the disciples claimed, that they were Jesus’ agents.)

      1. Is there any lesson in this in bringing people to
        Christ? (We need to make clear that we are not God!
        Further, we need to be careful about claiming to
        speak for Him. It is better to direct the people to
        God and what He has written.)

    2. Now, let’s start at the beginning of this story. Read Mark
      9:14-16. Let me ask you the same question Jesus asked,
      what do you think they were arguing about? (It obviously
      had something to do with the boy not being healed.
      However, I do not think that was something to argue about
      because he obviously was not healed. Instead, I think they
      were arguing about their authority to heal or their
      authority to speak on behalf of Jesus. They were not able
      to heal, but they maintained that they could.)

    1. Read Mark 9:17-19. Who is the unbelieving generation?
      What if I am right that the disciples were arguing about
      their ability to heal? Is Jesus saying that the disciples
      lacked belief? (They argued they had the “right stuff,”
      but it turns out they did not. Note that if the disciples
      were arguing with the teachers about the power of Jesus,
      then Jesus might be addressing this comment to the
      teachers of the law.)

    2. Let’s jump ahead again to better follow
      this line of the
      story. Read Mark 9:28-29. Why didn’t Jesus say “this kind
      can only come out by faith” – since He had just referred
      to an “unbelieving” generation?

      1. As you are trying to bring someone to Christ, is
        “roof ripping” the only necessary ingredient? That
        is, our first story taught us the necessity of
        diligent effort. This story teaches us something
        else. What is it? (That we need to earnestly ask in
        prayer for God’s power. We are co-laborers with Him.
        Prayer is the link to heaven.)

    3. Let’s go back now. Read Mark 9:20-23. Why do you think the
      spirit threw the boy into a convulsion when he saw Jesus?
      (It seems this was some sort of challenge to Jesus. Sort
      of a rebel’s “brave face.”)

      1. This is an example of another person brought to
        Jesus. What can this convulsion teach us about
        problems in bringing an unbeliever to Christ? (Satan
        and his evil angels will resist. Sometimes the person
        who is interested in Christ will, perhaps, seem
        hostile at times because of the resistance of evil.)

      2. There is a big theological question
        lurking in these
        verses. How is it that a child can be demon-possessed? The law has
        something known as the “age of
        accountability” and Christians generally subscribe to
        the idea that a child has to reach a certain age
        before he can knowingly accept or reject salvation.
        Can you be demon-possessed before this age? (This
        specific Greek word is only used once in the New
        Testament. However, the word from which it is derived
        can refer to a “mature child.”)

      3. Although the Bible clearly ascribes
        this child’s
        condition to an evil “spirit,” many would suggest
        that this speechless (v.17) child has a medical
        condition which results in these seizures (v.18).
        Does Jesus’ question in v.21 sound more like a
        medical question or a theological question? (I am not
        one who rejects the plain statement of the Bible to
        superimpose my “superior” wisdom about modern medical
        diagnosis. However, it surely sounds like Jesus is
        asking a medical question. What difference would the
        length of the condition make if the cure is casting
        out the evil spirit?)

      4. Look at v. 22. What is wrong with the
        request? (He suggests that Jesus is like His
        disciples — He might not be able to help.)

        1. Is that attitude a problem? (Yes!)

      1. If you pray and your prayer request is not granted,
        is it because you lacked faith? (This story clearly
        teaches that a lack of faith, a lack of prayer, could
        be the reason. However, our lesson (Wednesday) has a
        brilliant comment that notes Jesus said (v.23) all
        things are “possible,” not all things are
        “guaranteed.” Jesus asks us to believe that are
        prayer requests are possible.)

    1. Read Mark 9:24-27. Is there anything that you particularly
      like about the Father’s statement in verse 24? (I like
      that he asks Jesus for help even in the fact of believing.
      This is total dependence on God.)

      1. Why was the spirit allowed to abuse the boy even
        after Jesus was on the scene? (This is another lesson
        in personal witnessing. Jesus is the victor over sin
        and will ultimately eliminate it, but the battle
        still rages between good and evil here on earth.
        Those who are coming to God should not be surprised
        when Satan gives them a few last kicks as he leaves.)

    2. Friend, bringing someone to Jesus can be hard work. It
      requires not only a personal touch, but it requires faith
      and a serious prayer effort. Are you up to the task? If
      not, ask Jesus to help you.

  1. Next Week: Powerful Pray-ers