“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus was in a house, teaching and the place was packed, even the Pharisees were there and there wasn’t even ‘standing room’. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick, where you find Jesus, you find His power, the power to change lives. The power was there because Jesus was there. Today if your needs aren’t met, it’s not because the power of Jesus isn’t able to meet your needs. If you’re living a defeated life, it’s not because the power of Jesus isn’t able to give you victory. It’s because you haven’t come to Jesus for the power that you need. The power of the Lord was present and it still is. The gospel of Mark tells us that there were 4 men who brought their sick friend to Jesus that day, coming to Jesus because He had the power to heal him. We don’t know how far they carried their friend or how long he had been sick. When they realized that they couldn’t get in through the door, that nobody was going to budge and make room for them, they came through the roof. I think most of us when confronted with an obstacle would have given up and taken our sick friend back home. We would have said well we tried, it didn’t work out, but not these friends. They needed the power Jesus, they were determined. You are not going to experience the power of Jesus in your life if you don’t seek for it. Jeremiah 29:13 says “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” They kept going and didn’t give up because they knew what they wanted, what they needed, what was missing. So they tore the roof apart. In Bible times, houses were built different, their roofs were flat, made out of beams with sticks and hardened mud for mortar. There were stairs on the outside going up to the roofs because they spent time on their roofs in the evenings as it was often cooler up there. These 4 men climbed the stairs with their friend on the stretcher and began to dig through the roof. As they broke through the hard crusty mud dust must have been raining down. People would have been scattering covered in dirt and debris. As they looked up they would have seen the big hole, a mess and the four men lowering down the stretcher to Jesus. What Jesus saw was their faith. What does “faith” look like? Sometimes we miss the message and see the mess, focused on the forced entry we miss the faith. Jesus didn’t seem to care about the place but the people and here in is our greatest lesson. People are not an interruption to your ministry, they are the ministry. We get so focused on the place we miss the people, roofs can be repaired, they are temporary, but people are eternal. Today if we would pay attention we would see the evidence of faith, faith that refuses to give up. Faith that is willing to break in to be blessed. James 2:17-18 says “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” What is often a mystery to us is clearly seen by the Master, Jesus can see your “faith” right now.
In that moment as all eyes were on Jesus as He said “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” But he didn’t come to have his sins forgiven, he came to have his body healed didn’t he? Jesus looked into his heart and saw the greater need. Jesus didn’t begin by healing this man physically because he had a greater need. Sin is worse than sickness. Jesus could have healed him of his physical sickness only for him to spend eternity in Hell. But Jesus knew that his spiritual sin was worse than his physical sickness. We spend most of our life focused on the physical realm, concerned with sickness while we ignore the sin problem that’s really killing us. Jesus saw their faith and he saw the real need forgiveness. They didn’t haul their friend to the healer but the Savior. Today how would you describe your faith, how bold is your faith? Jacob wrestled with an angel all night, holding on he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). That’s a bold thing to say and do and yet, boldness is the word that the Hebrew writer uses to describe how we ought to approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). There is a boldness that comes from believing deeply that God means what he says.
- Faith caused these men to care, they weren’t thinking of themselves. They had a friend who needed Jesus’ touch and they were willing to go to a lot of trouble to get him the help that he needed.
- Faith caused these men to carry another to Jesus. When we care it costs.
- Faith caused these men to evaluate what was really important. People or places, buildings or blessing, stuff or the Savior.
Who do you know that needs the power of Jesus, what boundaries will your faith break through so they can be blessed?