Jesus and the Paralysed Man (13-11-21)
Bible Reading: Mark 2:1-5,11-12
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."
He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.
This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Sickness can have many causes. There is a lot of interest today in ‘Wellbeing’, with attention being given to mental health and the problems that may be caused by stress, anxiety, loneliness, loss or bereavement. Some illnesses can be genetic; people are born with them, others may be caused by infections, some by changes within our bodies, some by accidents and some by the way we abuse our bodies. In all of these situations, whatever the cause, God has the power to heal us and deliver us, even if we have brought the problem on ourselves.
Is there anything today that is causing you to feel unwell? It may be emotional, it may be physical, it may be spiritual. Whatever the cause, you can bring it to God and ask him to lead you to a place of healing.
Medically, I believe it is better to treat the illness than it is to treat the symptoms. Certainly Jesus took this view in this specific case of the paralysed man. Jesus discerned that the root cause of his illness was to do with his sin. Forgiving his sin enabled him to be healed and to walk out, much to the amazement of everyone.
In all of Jesus healing ministry we find an expression of faith by someone; it may be a word, it may be a request, it may be an action. The healing of the paralysed man happened because his four friends carried him on a mat to where Jesus was, and then went to great lengths to actually get him to Jesus. Their action was an expression of faith and, whilst I guess the man must have agreed to their plan, it was the faith of the friends that Jesus commended, and it was this that paved the way for his healing.
Let us take encouragement from this. Do you know someone who is sick? Today we might physically carry them to hospital on a stretcher, with the faith that doctors will heal them. But let us also, with their permission, get a group of friends, people of faith, and together carry the sick person to Jesus in prayer. God will interpret this as an act of faith.
Lord, you are an amazing God!
Thank you that when we come to you in faith you reach out to us with healing.
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing