“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5
In Mark chapter two, we see Jesus preaching in a house with a huge crowd gathered around Him. Then came a paralyzed man carried by his friends. The crowd that had gathered was now so large that the friends could not get the paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed. They tried doors and windows and found them all to be blocked by the crowd. However, the friends cared so much that they tore a hole in the roof, then lowered the paralyzed man down through the hole to where Jesus was standing. Jesus saw their faith and healed the man of his paralysis.
There are a few things to keep in mind when reading this. First, the paralyzed man was so loved by his friends that they didn’t stop when they met some resistance. They carried the paralyzed man, which was hard enough, but then they went further. They kept trying normal ways to get him through the crowd to Jesus, but then they realized they still had more to do to get their friend saved. You don’t just decide to destroy the roof of a house, it had to come after quite a bit of pushing and shoving through the crowd to no avail. Those friends were willing to do whatever it took to save this man. They could have tried and stopped after a little while, still showing some love towards the paralyzed man, but that wasn’t enough. The friends didn’t quit. They showed the man the fullness of love; the kind of love that is straight from God Himself.
The second thing to think about here is that not only did they love their friend, but these people had such faith in Christ that they knew this was the right thing to do to help the paralyzed man. They knew only one could save their friend and Jesus was The One. The Scripture says because of their faith the man was healed. It didn’t say anything about the paralyzed man’s faith, it talked about the faith of his friends. Jesus forgave the man of his sins, then told him to arise and walk. It took the faith of his friends to bring the man there, but the man’s own faith was cultivated enough to listen and obey the Savior. That faith was first demonstrated by the friends, then acted out by the paralyzed man. They set the example for him to follow.
This story holds deep meaning for every one of us who has a friend, colleague, or family member that has been overtaken by sin in their life. Sin can absolutely paralyze people and that is exactly what the devil wants. Satan doesn’t want you to do good works for the Kingdom of God, he wants you to fall into the same sins that you normally fall into. It’s honestly tough to break free of habits by yourself; you just can’t do it alone. You need to surround yourself with good people that will pray for you and help lift you up when the going gets tough. You need friends and family to love you enough to pray and keep praying for you, no matter what. I stand here today as a perfect example of that. I went down some wrong paths in my life, but by the God’s grace I’m alive and able to now help others. I didn’t pull myself out, I had some good people lifting me up in prayer. Without them, who knows where I would be right now.
You, too, have some people on your side. Even if you don’t have a friend in the world, you have people praying for you. If you are hearing this sermon or reading it right now, I’m personally praying for your salvation and prosperity. You have people in generations that have long since passed that have prayed for you and others in your same circumstance that you don’t even know about. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The best thing of all is that the Lord and Savior has been praying for you. The Bible says He had you in mind before the creation of the world and that He wants you to be with Him in glory. Read John 17:20-27. The Savior prayed for you! Now it is your turn to also pray for those who find it hard to pray. It’s your turn to lift up people who can’t or won’t lift themselves up to Jesus. We see our Lord as the example, then it is our time to be the example for others.
There’s a Beatles song that says we get by with a little help from our friends. There is no bigger or better friend than Jesus. Please know that you are not alone in your struggles and that you don’t have to be paralyzed by sin any longer. Look to the cross of Jesus, then arise and walk. Your sins have been forgiven. You are healed. You are loved.
God’s blessings to you.