Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered to hear Jesus’ message. They were all carefully listening to His message because the message comforted them. They felt the love of Jesus Christ. More and more people came and there was no room left, not even outside the house. Jesus continue preached the word to them. The people had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. Jesus was always compassionate and full of mercy on the large crowd coming to Him. The place was full of grace and peace flowing from Jesus. They were blessed, and they were in peace as if they were in Heaven. Among the crowd, Pharisees and teachers of the law were there.
There was a man paralyzed. He had been suffering long time. He always took pity on himself because of his disability, but his four friends were always with him and comforted him. They were true friends. His friends saw people rushing, and they heard, “Jesus is in town.” The friends heard about Jesus before, who drove out an impure spirit by one command “come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed at the scene. Jesus also healed Mary, Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. Jesus went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she immediately waited on them. What a miracle!
They also heard that Jesus healed a man with leprosy, which was the deadliest disease with no cure. All were fearful about leprosy, and people were not close to a leper due to this extreme fear. Also, all lepers were ceremonially unclean by the Jewish law. As a result, Jews avoided lepers as much as they could. However, Jesus was different. Rather than avoiding the man with leprosy, He kindly starched out and touched the leper, which was unthinkable. Jesus told, “Be clean!”, and immediately the leprosy was cleansed. After taking about Jesus’ miraculous healing, they looked at his friend paralyzed. Then at once, they all together told with one voice, “Yes, we need to take our paralyzed friend to the compassionate Jesus, who will heal our friend.” Then the four friends immediately picked up their paralyzed friend, and carried him to Jesus.
As they approach to the house where Jesus was teaching, they saw lots of people. The place was completely packed with people inside and even outside the door. There was no way to get through the crowd and through the door to Jesus because of the large crowd packed inside and outside the house. It was really frustrating. They could see Jesus between the heads of the crowding people, but they could not get to Jesus. They were blocked the crowd, and stood still. They talked about how to get to Jesus in order to put their paralyzed friend before Jesus. They were scratching their heads while thinking what to do. One of the friends started talk, “Hmm, absolutely no way to get Jesus except the door, which is completely blocked by people. Unless….” He paused, and then continued “what if? If we go up to the roof, we might have a chance to bring our paralyzed friend to Jesus.” The other three friends all looked at him and were listening. He slowly continued, “making a hole from the roof, and then through the hole we can low our friend to present him before Jesus.” Immediately one exclaimed, “What an outrageously absurd idea. What are you thinking? Making a hole on the roof of a stranger’s house? Are you in right mind?“ The other three listening agreed that it was a nonstarter. However, when they looked at their paralyzed friend, who had been suffering long time, they felt compassion on him like Jesus. Especially, when they saw their friend’s eyes, they could clearly tell that their paralyzed friend was believing Jesus like a child. The friend truly believed Jesus would heal him. The four friends silently looked into each other’s eyes. Then they knew what to do. They picked up their paralyzed friend again with the same faith that Jesus surely heal him.
They took the friend up to the roof, and measured a correct distance from the edge before making a hole on the roof to make sure the hole would be made in front of Jesus. Then they started digging. It was not an easy task as they initially thought. They had to remove multiple layers of the roof materials. They kept digging until a small hole was made. Lots of debris were falling into the house. Jesus stopped teaching and looked up as the hole was getting bigger. All suddenly became silent, while looking through the opening the four friends who were digging. But the four friends did pay no attention at all. Their only hope was Jesus and they believed Jesus would heal the paralyzed friend. Soon they could make a big opening on the roof, which was large enough to lower the paralyzed friend on the mat. They carefully tied the four corners of the mat, and lowered the friend right down in front of Jesus.
Jesus was watching what was happening. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man,
“My child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5b)
All heard Jesus clearly. Most of them could not believe what they were hearing, and they kept salient. Some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They did not know who Jesus really was. They thought that Jesus was just one of the teachers. However, Jesus told, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Forgiving sins? Nobody could say this because nobody could forgive sins. Only is the God able to forgive sins. They knew the truth, but they did not have a true understanding of who was Jesus, the son of God.
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2:10a)
So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Surely, Jesus Christ could heal all those who were sick while Jesus was on earth. Even os, Jesus did not heal all of the sick. Some were healed by Jesus, but some were not. Why? What’s the commonality among those who were healed by Jesus? Faith! Faith in Jesus. Those who were healed by Jesus had faith in Jesus. The paralyzed man was not an exception. He believed Jesus, and he had faith in Jesus who would heal him. In fact, Jesus saw the faith of the faith of the paralyzed man and the four friends.
What is the lesson for us today? We have to have faith in Jesus. This is the first and the most important – having faith. It is not just knowledge on our brain, but faith from the deepest part of our heart. Second, we need to expect that we will soon confront an obstacle on the way to Jesus in faith. For example, the four friends could make any closer to Jesus because the people crowded around Jesus, and they did not give any room to get close to Jesus. They did not give up. They used the Godly wisdom and went up to the roof with their paralyzed friend. They continued believing without being deterred by the obstacle. Then they continued marching on toward Jesus and opening a hole on the roof by digging. Digging a hole on the roof was an easy task, but they did. Third, when they were digging, many people starred at them. Not all of them approved what they were doing. But they did not care for the people around, and they continued digging in faith. When they had an opening big enough for their friends. They lowered their friend in front of Jesus. They presented their paralyzed friend to Jesus in faith. This pleased Jesus, and they experienced the healing of their dear friend who were paralyzed for long time.
Yes, having faith and continue believing in Jesus is not easy. Even so, we need to continue holding our faith in Him no matter what happens around us. Then fix our eyes on Jesus Christ and follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Jesus carefully watches over our footsteps not to be slipped toward Him because He dearly love us. This is our hope and faith. Give thanks to Jesus, our Savior, who dearly loves us under all circumstances. Also give thanks to God, who sent only begotten Son to forgive all our sins and to turn sinners like us to be His eternal children in His Kingdom on earth as well as in Heaven. Praise Him, and His name will be glorified forever!
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)