This blog post has been a full 26 months in the making, so get ready…
Just kidding. I have been wanting to blog for about a year now, and I’m honestly just now getting around to doing it, or at least attempting. So enough of that and on to the post…
Our text for the evening: Mark 2:1-12 The Paralytic Healed
This is probably one of my favorite stories in the Gospels. For me, it speaks about community. I think my point is obvious in the story: the paralytic man could not find his own way to Christ, so he had to be carried. Someone had to carry him…specifically, four someone’s had to carry him. One thing I find interesting is that we don’t know if the man ever asked to be taken to Jesus. One might assume that he did ask, knowing that Jesus was in the area and was known for healing (see end of Mark 1). What I like to imagine is that these five men knew each other well and when they heard that Jesus, the one whom claims to be the Messiah, was in town…they looked at each other and knew they had to carry their friend to him. Imagine how excited they must have been for their friend as they made their way to the house where Jesus was teaching.
And imagine their disappointment when they arrive and there is “no room in the inn.” Undeterred by the crowds, they decide to just knock a hole, a man-sized hole that is, in this roof. Persistence? I think so. When they lower him down (just think of the look on Jesus’ face as he is teaching and then notices the dust falling from the ceiling, and then…a man lowered into the room…), Jesus did what? He saw THEIR faith. Whose faith? The paralytic right? Nope, at least I don’t think that’s what he meant. At any rate, it was the faith of the community, as a whole, not just the individual, that Jesus notices. The paralytic is forgiven, healed, and walks away praising God. The people are amazed – they have never seen anything like it.
Here in Mark we see the law of Christ that Paul describes in Galatians 6 at work – “Bear one another’s burdens”. We are called together as a church for a reason, well probably for several reasons, but one of them is to bear each other’s burdens. In our world of individualized faith, we are hit with the truth that sometimes we can’t make it to Jesus on our own. Sometimes we need a few friends to carry us. Not just any friends either. Friends who will climb the dang roof and start digging!
Who will you carry? Who will carry you?
Caedmon’s Call has a song that speaks directly to this theme, and actually inspired these thoughts about 3yrs ago as I was preparing a devotion for the Auburn Wesley mission team in Liberia.
–> Love Alone via Grooveshark