Bible Reading: Mark 2
Mark 2:12, “And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”
It is the nature of faith to take risks and overcome obstacles. Faith finds a way when there isn’t any way apparent. Such was the case with the paralyzed man we read about in Mark Chapter 2:1-12.
We are not told how long the man had been paralyzed. It had likely been for many years. It would be difficult for most of us to relate to the severity of his need. Legs were made to walk, arms to do many things—but his were immovable and worthless to him. He depended on others for all things, and that was, no doubt, the hardest part of his experience. One would suppose that he had long ago abandoned any hope of regaining his mobility.
But he and his friends had heard about Jesus and the healings He had performed. And he thought—they thought—that maybe Jesus could heal him, too. But everyone else had heard about Jesus also, such that “people were coming to Him from every quarter” (Mark 1:45). And though Jesus 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 a group of 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 obstacles and fixes its gaze on its object. Someone came up with the plan. It could have been one of the friends or the paralyzed man himself—but no matter whose idea it was—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, to bring the bed onto the roof, and then let him down—it would not be easy!
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 and their friend was healed, body and soul. Immobile hands and feet were given new life and steps were taken and all was changed. The crowds “were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this’ (Mark 2:12).”
To problems great and small, Jesus is the answer. Sometimes Goliath sized fears and mountain sized obstacles work to immobilize us. “Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss.” But faith says: “He is Able!”
Sin works a spiritual paralysis in us. Who hasn’t experienced discouragement or defeat? But Jesus is able to forgive and restore! Good friends direct and encourage friends to look to Him (Romans 1:12). Sometimes as burden bearers, sometimes as burdens borne (Galatians 6:2). In either case, let us be careful to make our way by faith in the One who is alone able to heal and forgive (Hebrews 4:16).
Faith finds a way when there isn’t any way apparent. It deems Jesus trustworthy. It looks past the obstacles and fixes its gaze on Him.
Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.