This week we continue our Kingdom Revolution series, where we look at our CABLE practices and where we see them in Jesus’ time on earth. Over the past three weeks we looked at the Eat, Bless, and Acknowledge practices. Now, we examine the value of caring for the poor and the vulnerable as we extend compassion, represented by our cross icon.

Read Mark 2.1–12

There are a lot of people “stuck on mats” in our city and around our world. On average, one in nine people in the world experience chronic hunger, 783 million people don’t have access to clean water, and even in Ottawa county, 35% of the population struggles to meet basic needs.

Countless people are marginalized and stuck on the mat of poverty, and the story of the paralyzed man shows us the following three truths.

1. All of us are called to help get people unstuck.

The greatest single thing we can do to help those who are stuck is to use the resources we have—time, hospitality, finances, or otherwise—and help carry someone’s mat.

2. Getting unstuck requires risk and a willingness to be uncomfortable.

We’re all called to hold a corner of someone’s mat, but we’re not called to be a savior and carry the mat alone. It took four friends to move the paralyzed man; helping someone escape their mat is always a team effort.

3. Getting unstuck spiritually is even more important than getting unstuck physically.

The first thing Jesus did was to forgive the paralyzed man of his sins. For Jesus, true healing was both physical and spiritual. When we help others with our gifts and resources, we must also be willing to build relationships and share the gospel.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you know someone in your life whose “corner of the mat” you can grab? How can you use the resources you have to do that?
  2. Are you yourself stuck on a mat? Do you feel comfortable being vulnerable and taking a risk with your community? How can those around you pray for you and even grab a corner of your mat?
  3. How would you define poverty? What do you think causes it?
  4. When you go to the grocery store, do you have to pay attention to the cost of the items you purchase? Do you or have you ever had to buy only a partial tank of gas?
  5. How can your CABLE Group welcome and serve people with needs on a regular basis? How can you do the same individually?