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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.”  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.

-Mark 2: 1-12

Our mistake is we often try to create  1st century on a 21st century .

Communities are built by servants, but great communities are built by people willing to tear the roof off if necessary.

True community is a group of friends which possesses and implements and irrational commitment to the well-being of each other.

-Urie Bronfenbenner

1. True community will require that I .

2. True community always involves me growing and helping my friends grow .

-Great friends always help each other get closer to Jesus.

3. True community will help me and I them, lovingly deal with .

4. True community is when we together reach out to and others in the name of Jesus.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar.  If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?  The command we have from Christ is blunt:  Loving God includes loving people.  You’ve got to love both.

- 1 John 4:29

To discuss during the week with your family, Life Group, or Campus.

1. What is the mat you carry in life? Anger, fear, lust, controlling nature, poor self-image, etc?

2. Who do you allow to carry your mat for you?

3. Which of the 4 areas of true community do you find most challenging? Why?

4. What next step is Jesus asking me to take as a result of this