- The Washington Times - Monday, February 21, 2000

Imagine the sound of an orchestra tuning up. Now, think elementary school orchestra. There is total discord as the instruments the cellos, the violas and the violins all do their own thing. It sounds awful until the conductor taps the baton for silence.

Then, the first violin comes forward and strikes the note called "A 440." It is the A note at the frequency of 440 hertz. As you can see, the first violin has to be in perfect tune. Every instrument in the orchestra says, "Oh, I can do that," and tunes to A-440. All the instruments have to start in the same place, and that is because music is mathematical and logical, and that is how the orchestra achieves its goal of harmony… .

Verse 2 [Mark 2:1-12] in our text [about Jesus teaching in the house] says: "Many were gathered together, so there was no room for them even at the door." Here, it says, "He was preaching the word to them." In another version, it says, "He was preaching the message."

What was that message? Was it some kind of juicy political scandal in Jerusalem? Maybe he was talking about the latest hot social topic.

Everywhere Jesus went, He packed the place. I believe He went into the fields because houses could no longer hold the people.

But if you look at this verse in the Greek, it would read, "Jesus was teaching the logos." The word "logos" is the basis in English for logic, logical or logistic. Literally, it would say, "And He was preaching to them the principles of life."

In the New Testament, whenever that word is used it was about how God intended life to work… . Jesus spoke about the logical way for relations with others and God to work, and it was so real that people came by the hundreds and even the thousands… .

A lot of those people, just like us, knew they were out of tune, not in harmony with the One who created them. A lot of them knew they were just doing their own thing. They came to Jesus because they wanted to hear more than anything else that one universal note, the A-440. They wanted to resonate with the people around them and with the Creator… .

Jesus came from the kingdom of God, but He lived with us on Earth. He must have experienced a great disharmony and dissonance. In God's kingdom, people love each other. They don't fight, yell at each other, or are boastful. In the kingdom, people wake up every day and know for certain that God loves them… .

That's what happened between Jesus and the crowd of people in the house. Jesus cast out a tune that everybody wanted to hear. He said that in God's kingdom, people are kind and respectful, and people forgive. People are so in tune with what created them that they are in tune with each other. They are hopeful, instead of bitter. There is no chaos… .

Don't your friends want to hear the tune? People in this world have so many legitimate problems. And they come to us and they say, "What do I do?" They want insight. We want it, too, even though we live in this reflection of the kingdom called the church… . How can we help these friends? …

I like the four guys in the Scripture passage. They looked at their friend who was paralyzed and said, "We got to do something to help our friend." They hauled him off to Jesus. They couldn't get in the house, so they lowered him through the roof… .

I don't know what I like more: the fact that they loved their friend so much, or that they had so much faith and confidence in Christ. I wish I had both those qualities… .

Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven," and the man got up and quickly left. The religious leaders said of Jesus, "This is blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins." What Jesus was saying was, "I am the guy with the A-440. I'm the guy with the principle of life; I know how you should live."

Next week: a sermon by the Rev. J. Dusenbury at Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church in Laurel.

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