In the gospel of Mark, we find these passages of Scriptures, "And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee" (Mark 2:4-5).
The setting was a visit by Jesus to Capernaum that drew a large crowd. The word soon hit the streets that Jesus was in a particular house. The people gathered around the house insomuch that entering through the door or windows was impossible. Four men, however, thought that if they could get this paralyzed man to Jesus, he would rise up and walk.
Unable to get through the door or windows, they decided to rip open the roof and lower the man on his bed to the exact location where Jesus was in the house. Mark (2:5) wrote, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."
Outside of the miracle that took place after the forgiveness of sins, some really powerful events took place. The first thing that captured my imagination was the fact that the relationship of the four men to the paralyzed man was not mentioned. I believe this world could use more people who would go out of their way to help those in need regardless of their relationship to them, their race, economic status, etc. More people are needed who would step up in a moment's notice to put others in a position to succeed.
Secondly, the acts of these four men actually stopped Jesus in the midst of delivering the Logos (word). There is a great need for mission work that could capture the attention of local, state and federal government and alter their agenda. The essence of ministry is to constitute change!
The very reason why the gospel is preached is to cause the hearers to have a change of heart. Sound doctrinal truth will eventually cause something positive to spring forth. These men demonstrated the love of God in its purest form. Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" John 13:35. Love is the key to restoring this world.
Finally, Jesus was moved by the actions of the four men who worked diligently to get this person in position, who was desperately in need of a healing. In fact, the need to pray for his healing wasn't even necessary. Love has a powerful way of disintegrating a multitude of sins through forgiveness. Verse 5 said, "When Jesus saw their faith " he called the man "son" and forgave him of his sins, which were many. Wow, love minus sins equals healing. Jesus saw all of their faith, but the faith that stood out the most was that of the four men. Sweating while they coordinated the lowering location of the paralyzed man, the four men never wavered with their faith. The 12th verse said they were all amazed, and they all glorified God. The takeaway from this lesson is simply that God wants to acknowledge our faith in Him. He wants us to see this nation healed, restored, respected and prosperous again.
The formula used in settling this problem is faith minus sins equals healing! Sin can cause a nation to suffer from paralysis to the point where everything seems to be deadlocked. Funding for much-needed programs is affected, gross domestic product is affected, and right down to the local school budgets are affected.
I pray that your love for others will illuminate your faith to the point where heaven notices it.
P.S. Please get your U.S. Census information in today!
Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.
More Articles to Read