Faith in Action (27-01-21)
Bible Reading: Mark 2:1-12
A few days later Jesus went back to Capernaum, and the news spread that he was at home. So many people came together that there was no room left, not even out in front of the door. Jesus was preaching the message to them when four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man to Jesus. Because of the crowd, however, they could not get the man to him. So they made a hole in the roof right above the place where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they let the man down, lying on his mat. Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there thought to themselves, "How does he dare talk like this? This is blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!" At once Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, "Why do you think such things? Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'? I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home!" While they all watched, the man got up, picked up his mat, and hurried away.
Forest Gump’, in a scene depicting the Vietnam war, and while under enemy fire, carries many of his injured army colleagues to safety, including his friend Bubba Blue, who dies of his wounds, and Lieutenant Dan, who really doesn’t want to live but survives and thrives.
In the New Testament faith is invariably linked with action. James tells us that faith without works is dead and the writer of ‘Hebrews’ lists the heroes of faith along with their actions. When Jesus heals people it is rarely a random act and normally involves some expression of faith, sometimes it is the simple act of coming to Jesus and asking, at other times it is answering Jesus’ question ‘What would you like me to do for you?
In our bible reading four men go to extraordinary lengths to carry their friend to Jesus in the hope that he will heal him. Unable to get into the house where Jesus was, they climb the outside staircase, make a hole in the flat roof, and lower their friend to Jesus. Interestingly it is the faith of the friends, not the paralysed man, that Jesus recognises, and which results in the paralysed man being healed.
Carrying someone to Jesus in prayer is in itself an expression of faith and is something we can all do. Sharing the burden with others can also be important when our faith alone may not be strong enough to overcome the obstacles on the way.
Is there someone you have been carrying to Jesus in prayer? Be encouraged, he hears your prayers and recognises them as an act of faith.
Are there times you struggle with your faith over something? Who could you share the burden with, so that together you could carry the need to God in prayer?
Thank you Lord Jesus that you hear the cry of my heart. Give me the faith, not to give up, but to battle through in prayer until you answer, in your time and in your way.
O Lord, hear my prayer