Friday, February 10, 2012


Mark 2:1-12

It is the nature of faith to overcome difficulties and obstacles. With firm confidence in its object, faith is not deterred by such things. A man athirst in an arid desert believes an oasis can assuage his thirst—that faith propels him forth across the sandy reaches. Faith finds a way when there isn’t any way.

We are not told how long the man had been paralyzed nor what caused his condition. It might have been for many years. And it is hard for us to imagine the severity of his need. Legs were made to walk, arms to do many things—but his were immovable and worthless to him. He was dependent on others for all things and that was, no doubt, the hardest thing. He had likely long ago lost any hope of every being cured.

But they had heard about Jesus--he and his friends. They had heard about the healings that He had done. And he thought—they thought—maybe Jesus could heal him too. But everyone had heard about Jesus—“people were coming to Him from every quarter” (Mark 1:45). And though he had come to town, there was no way “to get near Him” (Mark 2:4). The multitudes were there. “Pharisees and teachers…from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem” were there (Luke 5:17). The home was filled, and so was the doorway. It would be hard enough for a man by himself to make his way through such a crowd, let alone friends carrying a paralyzed man.

But true faith finds a way when there isn’t any way. It deems its object trustworthy. It looks past the difficulties and obstacles. Someone came up with the plan--it could have been one of the friends or the man himself—but they all concurred. “What if we let him down through the roof” they thought. But there were still difficulties. To carry their friend on his bed—a hard thing. To carry their friend on a bed to the roof—harder still. To let him down through the roof to Jesus—most difficult. It would not be easy. But faith finds a way when there isn’t any way. Its confidence in its object overcomes such obstacles.

His friends cautiously made their way to the roof, then “let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, right in the center, in front of Jesus” (Luke 5:19). “Seeing their faith, (Jesus) said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20). A debate then ensued between the religious leaders and Jesus regarding that matter, but the end result for the man was the same. “He said to the paralytic—‘I say to you, rise, and take up your stretcher and go home” (Luke 5:24). “And at once he rose up before them, and took up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God” (Luke 5:25).

They had believed that if they could make their way to Jesus, their friend would be made well. Their faith devised an elaborate plan and propelled their laborious efforts. “Their faith” (Luke 5:20) was rewarded (Hebrews 11:6) and their friend was healed and forgiven! Immobile hands and feet were given new life and steps were taken and all was changed!

To problems great and small Jesus is the answer. Sometimes Goliath sized fears and difficulties immobilize us. “Sin and despair, like the seawaves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss.” Faith says: “Jesus is Able!” He cares, He knows and He is able to forgive, restore and set things aright. Sometimes we are like the paralyzed man. We are dependent on our believing friends to carry us to the throne of grace that we “may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16; Galatians 6:2). Sometimes we are carried, sometimes we carry. But in all cases we concur that Jesus is the answer (Cf. Romans 1:12). And no matter the how great the disappointments, difficulties, or doubts—we must make our way to Him. He is the answer! True faith finds a way!

J. C. Ryle, “We are told that one paralyzed was brought to our Lord, at Capernaum, in order to be healed. Helpless and impotent, he was carried in his bed by four kind friends, and let down into the midst of the place where Jesus was preaching. At once the object of the man's desire was gained. The great Physician of soul and body saw him, and gave him speedy relief. He restored him to health and strength. He granted him the far greater blessing of forgiveness of sins. In short, the man who had been carried from his house that morning weak, dependent, and bowed down both in body and soul, returned to his own house rejoicing.”

Pastor Jerry

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