Churches all over the world claim to have Jesus “in the house,” but sometimes there is scant evidence to support that claim. Mark 2:1-12 provides us with a vivid outline of what it looks like to have Jesus actively working in our gatherings. The chapter begins by saying that Jesus had come back to Capernaum, His home base, and word had gotten out “that He was at home.”
I pray that this kind of word-of-mouth marketing is happening for your congregation today. Long before Facebook and Twitter, word quickly got out that Jesus was in the house, and a number of stunning results followed.
Here are 5 things you can expect to happen when people hear that Jesus is regularly “in the house” during your church gatherings:
- Crowds will come. Verse 2 says, “Many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door.” While your congregation may not be a megachurch, the Biblical model makes it clear that large numbers of people will be attracted if they truly know that Jesus is in the house.
- The Word of God will be taught. Verse 3 tells us, “He was speaking the word to them.” Other aspects of Jesus’ ministry would be demonstrated later in the story, but first He taught the Word. Today we have many churches that teach the Word, but which demonstrate no power. We also have churches that are highly experiential, with very little teaching from the Scriptures. Yet when Jesus is in the house, the two go hand in hand.
- Radical faith will be sparked. Hearing that Jesus was in the house, four men carried a paralyzed friend to the meeting place. When the large crowd prevented them from bringing the paralytic through the doorway, they climbed up on the roof and dug a hole to lower the man on a pallet in front of Jesus. What radical behavior! This kind of passionate determination would be so out of character for polite, conventional, American Christians. Verse 5 says Jesus SAW their faith—quite a contrast to the common misconception today that faith can be a private, personal matter that we keep to ourselves.
- Forgiveness will be released. Although the man had been brought to the meeting for healing of his paralysis, Jesus saw a much more critical need, telling the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (v. 5). Countless people today are paralyzed because of a need for forgiveness. Either they are immobilized by guilt and shame over things they’ve done, or else they are locked in an emotional prison because of their unwillingness to forgive others. Jesus was about to perform a miracle of physical healing as well, but first He made sure that the forgiveness issue was fully dealt with in this man.
- Miracles will happen. When was the last time you witnessed a genuine miracle in your church? Yet that’s the kind of thing that can be expected when Jesus is in the house. After He had taught the Word and dealt with the forgiveness issue, He boldly told the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your pallet and go home” (v. 11).When people saw the man immediately set free from his paralysis, they “were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this’” (v. 12).
I absolutely love this conclusion of the story. God was glorified by what had happened, as He always is when we invite Jesus to freely work in our gatherings.
People testified that they had never seen anything like this before. That’s exactly what will happen again today when you and I allow Jesus to come and fill our house today. Even if we’re longtime Christians, we will marvel at the blessings and miracles released by our Lord’s presence among us.
So let’s not settle for anything less in our churches and our homes than to have Jesus in the house.