And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12 NKJV)
Learning to Walk
The goal of every parent for their infant children is for them to be able to walk on their own. So it is, when the child is able to hold themselves upright, the parents begin to hold them up with the baby’s feet dangling, then they sit them in walkers so their feet can touch the ground and the child begins using their feet to propel themselves in the walker. This action strengthens the muscles and the bones in their legs. The repeated action develops a memory in the nerves and muscles, so as the child grows, the action of either crawling, holding hands up, and walking becomes second nature, allowing the child to crawl, lift itself up, walk and run.
However, what was it like for the paralytic? He had to rely on friends to carry him wherever he wanted to go. Obviously, this man was what would be deemed in today’s language a “complete quadriplegic”. No hope of him even crawling someplace, as it appears his nerves were so damaged, all muscle/nerve memory was gone. Then came Jesus.
The Faith of our Friends
His friends heard Jesus was back in town and they picked him up and carried him to the house where Jesus was teaching. His friends believed Jesus would heal him. But where was his faith? Just like a young child, whose parents have faith they will walk, so this man’s friends had the faith to carry him to Jesus, literally, for healing.
What about you? How is your faith? Do you have faith enough to “carry” a friend to Jesus for healing, or better yet, salvation? In this Scripture, Jesus first saw the faith of the paralytic’s friends, then He forgave the paralytic his sins, after which he was told to get up and walk.
As followers and believers of Jesus, we are called to minister in many ways. And in that calling, it is essential we hold fast to our faith in Jesus, believing He has strengthened us to “carry” our friends to Him, or to perform any other task we are called to do.
Lord Jesus. Thank you for granting us faith to follow You wherever You lead and to perform whatever You lay upon our hearts to do; for Your glory, amen.