(Mark 2:1-4 NLT) When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.
This morning we continue our new series entitled, “Faith and Patience VOL III – Never Give Up!” Last week we closed out with a miracle of Jesus. Let’s continue to flow in that same vein. For the next couple of days we will look at a situation where a paralyzed man received the help of his friends in order to receive his breakthrough.
First of all let’s imagine the paralyzed man. The Bible does not tell us what happened to him to make him paralyzed, but it also does not tell us that he was born this way. It’s safe to assume that he was once able to walk and that something happened that robbed him of his mobility. I have never been in that situation, but I know what it is like to lose something. I am sure this man laid in his paralyzed state remembering what it was like to walk. While he was able to walk he (like most of us who are able-bodied) probably never thought twice about the fact that he was blessed to have the activity of his limbs. But once that activity was gone, I am sure he longed to get it back. So when he heard about Jesus I am sure his hope was rekindled. The word of Jesus’ amazing miracles was spreading throughout the land. I can imagine his friends saying, “Buddy, let me tell you about Jesus, the miracle worker.” At the end of the previous chapter Jesus healed a man of leprosy; and incurable disease. I can imagine his friends saying, “Man, if Jesus can heal leprosy, I am sure he can heal your body.”
The Bible does not tell us if the paralyzed man came up with the plan or if his friends did, but what we know is that they somehow decided to carry their buddy, on a mat, all the way to where Jesus was. They were convinced that if they could get their friend in front of Jesus that He would heal him. So they took off, carrying their friend on a mat, determined to get to Jesus. Before we go any further, let me ask you this question, have you ever attempted to carry someone? Even if their “mat” was sturdy, carrying a grown man is no easy task. We don’t know how long they had to carry him, but what we do know is that by the time they arrived at the house that Jesus was teaching in the house had reached max capacity. People were standing outside to just get a glimpse of Jesus. There was no way to get the man through the crowd and the friends had a decision to make. They could wait, they could leave, or they could come up with some other way. We will see tomorrow that they decided to tear a hole in the roof of a stranger’s home, just to get a breakthrough for their buddy. We will stop here for today.
So what does this mean to you today? A couple of things:
1. Never forget to change God for the activity of your limbs. Thank God while you are healthy, not just when He heals your body.
2. All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23). There are no impossibilities in God. If you can believe it, then through the power of God you can receive it.
3. God’s blessing is sweatless, but not effortless. God blesses you by His grace. You can’t earn a blessing, that’s why it’s sweatless, but that does not mean that it will always be effortless. These men had to put in lots of effort to carry their friend to Jesus.
4. Don’t stop because of obstacles. God never promised it would be easy, but if you remain in faith it will be worth it. These men had to overcome an obstacle and you will surely need to overcome many on your road to your victory. Just remember that if you are facing it, then you can take it… never give up!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for this Word and I thank You for my health and strength. I am able to do what You have blessed me to do and for that I will always give You praise! And when I hear about what You have done for others it ignites my faith. I know that You don’t play favorites. What You did for others You can and will do for me. I am Your child and I enter this week with great expectations. I know there is nothing You can’t do. Therefore I place all my challenges at Your feet. I trust in You with my whole heart and I pursue You with all my might. No matter what I face and no matter how many obstacles I have to overcome on my path to victory, I am determined to get there! I won’t allow anything or anyone to keep me from Your best! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!