Mark 2:1–4 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
I never fail to be moved by this account. I am moved by the desperate condition of the paralytic. I am moved by the friends who refused to be stopped by anything in bringing their friend to Jesus. And I am moved by the wonder of Christ’s responses. He is completely uninterested in how they damaged His home in order to get their friend in front of Him. He refuses to only deal with the man’s paralysis, but incudes the eternal issue of his sin. And He is undaunted by the naysayers who balked when He displayed His authority to forgive sins – which only God can do. Everything about the account is worthy of contemplation and rejoicing. It is an astounding display of our Savior’s love, compassion and courage.
Take just a moment to look more closely at the nature of the Paralytic’s friends. For in their actions and attitudes, they give us one of the best expositions of what it means to “intercede” for someone in the Scriptures.
Here we learn an extraordinary lesson: Our faith greatly affects others, when by virtue of it, we bring men to Him – either in the sense of giving them the Gospel, or bringing them to sit under the preaching of the Word, or even in prayer – that they might be touched by Him.
The friends here, invest their time and energy in bringing this man to Jesus’ attention. And what more is prayer? It is our bringing others to the attention of our Lord that He may touch them. But for such faith to have legs, we have to act upon it. They could not gather for coffee and discuss what Jesus could do for him, if only… . They brought him to Jesus. And this is what it means for us to pray for others. To bring them to Jesus.
Sometimes lots of other things seem to hinder that. A pressing crowd of distractions that makes it seem impossible to get there. It’s a lot of work to carry a man any distance. It took imagination and boldness to climb the stairs, dig through the roof and let him down. A species of holy audacity that Jesus not only does not reprimand, but rewards with answering their desire.
Pray beloved. It is not a fruitless exercise. Sometimes there will be many other things d in upon us to keep away from getting close to Him. Sometimes we have to fight the laziness that says it is just too hard. Sometimes we have to press on in holy boldness that simply will not rest until the work is done – until we have taken our friend, our loved one, our need, and placed them right in front of Him where they cannot be ignored.
Never forget, that when we believe enough to bring men before Him, He is willing enough to respond.
What a glorious Savior!
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