Making Visible The Kingdom Through Convergence

With Jesus – Expect The Unexpected

Imagine life in a small fishing village.  It’s the kind of place where everyone in the village knows one another and are interdependent as a community.  There lively hood, indeed, there whole way of life is connected to fishing.  The village is so close knit that the children don’t just have one set of parents, really all the parents and grandparents in the village have a hand in raising the children.  Now these children have a connection that is hard for someone with my background to understand.  I have moved a total of 17 times in my life and my oldest and dearest friends are from about 10 years ago.  In stark contrast these are lifelong friends.  They play together, they learn together, they worship together, and when the time comes they will work together in the same industry as their fathers and grandfathers.

What would happen to this group if one of the men were to injured on the job and not just injured, but paralyzed?  The paralytic’s life is forever altered.  He will never again be able to work alongside his friends, his brothers.  He will never again feel the wind on his face or smell the salt in the air.  His hands will never again pull in a net bursting with fish.  If he has children he will never be able to pick them up again.  It would be easy for his friends and family to expect little for him or from him.  Their expectation would be that for all intensive purposes the paralytic’s life is over.  On the other hand, might they be willing to do anything to see their friend and brother walk again?  How far would they be willing to go?  Would they carry him on their backs all the way to a miracle worker leaving their own expectations and presuppositions behind expecting the unexpected?  In Mark 2 we see a group coming to Jesus bringing a paralytic expecting a miracle, because with Jesus we can expect the unexpected.

 Jesus didn’t meet the expectations.  The people of his day had an expectation of what the Messiah would do and what he would look like.  Basically since the time the Kingdom was split under King Rehoboam people had been waiting for God to establish his Kingdom and restore the Kingdom to Israel.

“There are so many people who are longing to be brought to life, who know all too well that they have done evil and long to hear not only of a God who embraces evildoers, but a a church that does the same” – Claiborne 

This week we’ll be tackling the Gospel of Mark 2:1-22.  Join us at Ridgebury EPC in Slate Hill NY.


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