Scripture: Mark 2:1-12
Key verses: (3-5) “Then they came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
Reflection: Consider for a moment the four people who carried that paralyzed man to Jesus. What do you think moved them to go and get that man? Imagine their conversation. “Hey, did you hear about Jesus of Nazareth?” “Yeah, I heard he’s healing people over at Maggie’s house!” “Do you think he could heal Larry?” “Larry? He’s been paralyzed ever since the accident — back broken by that beam. Casting out demons is one thing, but healing a broken back?” “Let’s give it a shot!” “How are we going to get him there?” “We’ll have to carry him.” “It’s ten blocks to Maggie’s house!” “Do you want to see Larry healed or not?” “All right, let’s get him.” Imagine them carrying that man all the way to the house where Jesus was healing people. Imagine them seeing the crowds surrounding the house. “Now what?” they must have wondered. But they didn’t let that stop them. “I’ve got an idea, let’s lower him through the roof!” Imagine them lifting the man up and putting him on that roof. Imagine them dragging him along the roof line, tearing a whole big enough to lower him through in that thatch. Imagine what it took for the four of them to lower that paralyzed man down through the hole and place him before Jesus.
What would it take to go to such extremes? They must have loved the paralytic a lot to go through all that. He must have been a good friend. To go through all that, they must have believed Jesus had the power to heal him. Why else would they have gone to such lengths? What great faith they had. Did you notice that it’s their faith that leads to forgiveness and healing for their friend? It’s not the paralytic’s faith, it’s their faith.
Can you imagine loving your neighbor enough to go through that much to find them healing? Can you imagine trusting Jesus that much to provide them what they need? How might your faith lead to healing for a neighbor in need?
Prayer: Open our eyes to see those unable to move in our midst. Open our hearts to love them enough to do whatever it takes to find them healing. Strengthen us to live out our faith that they may be whole. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].