The last couple of weeks I’ve slowly been reading through the Gospel of Mark. I love to read my Bible, but if I’m totally honest I can easily get stuck on one verse or passage for several weeks. I love pondering the meaning behind a verse and trying to fully understand the context of it. Something I try to challenge myself in while reading is to not just open my Bible to “know more” but to “know Him more”. For me, this means reading slowly and intentionally looking for God’s heart in everything I read. I remember hearing someone say once, “Be careful not to miss Jesus when reading your Bible”. I remember thinking at first that was a strange thing to say, but the older I get the more I’m realizing how often we miss His heart.
This week I’ve been caught on a particular passage in Mark 2 where Jesus heals a paralyzed man.
There’s so many things about this story that caught my attention, and that I had never payed much attention to before.
Mark tells us a true story of a man who was paralyzed, completely unable to carry himself, he’s carried by four men to Jesus.
At this point, Jesus wasn’t easy to reach. Jesus was in a home where people had gathered to hear Him speak and there were so many people in and around the house that they HAD to find another way in. Seeing that there was no way in the door, the four men carried the man on his bed, to the roof, where they broke through and lowered him down to the healer.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven”. (Mark 2:5)
This is the perfect example of something I had to read a few times to understand what just happened.
It says when Jesus saw “their faith” He told the man that his sins were forgiven.
Not when Jesus saw the MAN’S faith, but when He saw the faith of the four men who carried him there.
This is amazing to me. I can recall stories of Jesus saying, “YOUR faith has made you well, go and sin no more”, but I had never noticed until now a time when Jesus said that because of someone else’s faith, someone else was forgiven.
As I thought about this more and as I “looked for Jesus” and His heart in this story, (although I know physically He was in the house) I saw Jesus in those four men. And as I saw Jesus in those four men, I saw myself in the paralytic.
I saw Jesus carrying me as I cannot carry myself. Helpless, in need of a healer, and paralyzed on my own.
Jesus came to me, picked me up, and carried me to my healing and my redemption. I see the beauty of His grace and the truth that it has never been about me sinks in a little deeper. Jesus carried me. Jesus forgave me. Jesus healed me. Maybe it wasn’t “my faith” that carried me this far, but maybe it’s always just been His faithfulness. Maybe even my ability to believe is from Him and HIS faith is what has made me well.
Maybe my salvation was not me going after a savior, but Him coming after me, carrying me, believing for me, and saving me.
Notice that nothing could stop those four men from doing what they set out to do. Their faith was stronger than any wall they had to go through or height they had to climb. Turning away didn’t seem to be an option. When there was “no way” they made a way. This is the heart of our savior!
He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t stop. He never gives up.
Another thing I noticed and had to ask myself after reading this story is this:
Am I this kind of friend?
Notice we don’t see Jesus asking how the four men got to Him, but we simply see Him speak straight to their faith. He must’ve not been concerned about the process of how they got there or anything from the paralytics past. Jesus just saw faith and declared the man forgiven.
I don’t know if these men were lifelong friends, or if they just met on the street on the way into the city, but I can’t help but notice the power that these four men had in this one man’s life. If they wouldn’t have carried him to Jesus, how would he have gotten there? Would the man have remained paralyzed for the rest of His life or would he have ever come face to face with Jesus to receive forgiveness and new life?
Although physically we can’t carry someone to Jesus, prayer is just as powerful. When you pray, you are carrying people to the healer.
No situation is too hard.
Maybe you will carry someone to their healing and redemption.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Then I asked myself this:
How far would I go and how many walls would I take out to carry someone to the one that I know not only can heal them, but set them free and satisfy their every need?
The faith of those four men not only carried the man to the healer, but it took out any wall that was in the way of getting him there.
Nothing was too hard or too far… these four men were absolutely convinced and nothing could stop them from carrying the paralytic to Jesus.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always been drawn to people with a need for healing. If I knew someone was sick, I immediately wanted to pray for them.
My mom would even call me “Nurse Laney” when I was young because I loved taking care of people when they were sick or in pain.
This desire to see people healed and whole is still very strong in my heart. I hate to see people hurt.
But although this desire is still very strong, I have to be honest and say that many times I’ve been easily discouraged by the difficulty of getting people to the healer. I see the need for healing and new life through Jesus everyday, but how often does the difficulty, weight, and effort that goes into the situation keep me from finding a way into the house like these four men did.
Reading this story obviously has made me ask myself many questions… But one question I’ve found more important than all the others is this…
“Where is my faith?”
Is it in my ability to pray for a person or is it fully in Jesus’s love and desire to heal His children and make them whole?
If I’m honest, sometimes I get so discouraged by a person’s situation and the weight of it feels so impossible that I don’t even know what to pray.
Maybe you’ve been dealing with a similar situation with a friend or family member… Maybe you’ve been praying for their salvation or for their healing for so long that you just want to give up.
I want to encourage you… DONT give up.
Just like these men did, carry them to the healer.
Climb the heights, break through the walls and believe.
Your faith could be the arms and legs that carry the one you love to their healing.
Let your faith in Jesus be what carries you to the miracle.
If you feel tired and worn out, remember who your God is.
For He is Elohim – Our God.
He is Yahweh – The I AM.
He is Abba – Our Loving Papa
He is Jehovah Rapha – Our Healer.
He is El Elyon – The Most High Above All
He is El Roi – The God Who Sees
He is El Shaddai – The God Almighty
He is Jehovah Jireh – Our provider
He is Jehovah Nissi – Our Banner (protection, leadership, and deliverance)
And He is Jehovah Shalom – God our peace
It’s so easy to look at someone’s life and situation and measure our ability to help by our own ability.
But we were not made to be the healer… We’re meant to carry people to Him.
Let me encourage you to let God be God.
Let the healer be the healer.
Let the past be the past.
Let His love be your guide.
And let His word be your truth.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” – James 5:14-15
Laney Redmon is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.
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