LIBERTY — “You are a Christian and a Baptist now not because of your own faith and prayers, but because of others,” Carolyn Ann Knight told nearly 1,000 Baptist Border Crossing attendees. “Someone, somewhere took you to church, told you about Jesus…. Someone prayed for you.”
Knight, evangelist and founder of Can Do Ministries, Inc., focused her message on the Luke 5 passage of the healing of the paralytic. She pointed out that the Bible is full of stories of Jesus healing people based on the faith of the individual, but that this man was healed because of the faith of his friends.
In the text, the man’s only identity was his paralysis. “He wanted to attend the meeting, but his paralysis prohibited him from being in the presence of Jesus,” she said.
“He could not stand, sit or walk;” he could not bend or squat. “All he could do was lay there…counting the crevices and cobwebs” in the ceiling, she said.
Instead of leaving him there, his friends lifted him up and used creativity to bring him to Jesus.
There are people all around us in a state of paralysis, she said. It might not be physical, but people are paralyzed due to social situations, unresolved conflict, race and color, sex and sexuality, self esteem or the past.
“Unless they get a lift, they will remain paralyzed,” Knight said. “Before we judge, we need to remember when we went through what we went through. We need to make it a priority to help somebody get to Jesus.”
She said that Baptists have also been in a state of paralysis. “We do not live, work, play well with others,” she said. But people “won’t get to Jesus unless the church picks them up; unless Baptists cross borders and pick them up.”
Referencing the challenges the men faced in carrying their friend and lowering him from the roof, “getting people to Jesus is not easy,” she said. “Being a Christian is not easy. It is not comfortable and smooth…. God wants to use you — your faith — to lift someone up.”
Jennifer Harris is the news writer for Word&Way.