Mark 2:1-5 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
I talk a lot of talk. Yep, I’m a pretty wordy girl. In my mind, I know the things that I want to accomplish for the glory of God, and I write these things down, and I even speak them out loud, but this morning I woke up with the word action on my mind. Am I putting foot to pavement? Am I walking the walk? Or am I just talking the talk. I feel like my plate is totally full of things that I still need to do. I love missions, and I want to be more mission minded. Am I putting my faith into action?
The scripture today is very familiar. I absolutely love and admire the faith of these men. Jesus was preaching in Capernaum. Everyone wanted to hear Him and see Him, and they gathered in large numbers. Could you just imagine if Jesus came to visit your home town? I can see the crowds in my mind’s eye. Everyone was excitedly gathered to see the Messiah in person. Wow! That had to be an awesome gathering. Then, Mark tells us about these men that had a paralyzed friend. We aren’t told here what happened to this man other than the fact that he was paralyzed, but we can read through the lines and see that this paralyzed man was truly loved by his friends. They apparently knew about this man called Jesus, and had heard of His miraculous healings. They knew that they had to get their friend in to see Jesus, but the place was too crowded. There was no way that they could carry him in through the crowds. They couldn’t make their way through such a massive gathering, but they had to get the paralyzed man in to see Jesus. What did they do? They climbed up on the roof with the paralyzed man. This isn’t described in the text, but just imagine how much effort it required to lift a paralyzed man from the ground to the roof. That had to be a chore. And then, after getting the man up on the roof, they made a hole in the roof large enough to lower the paralyzed man down into the crowd. Jesus saw their faith and healed the man. The once paralyzed man walked out of that crowded place.
This story is a spectacular example of faith in action. It brings to mind several thoughts. This man was surrounded by some really good friends. His friends loved him so much that they went the extra mile to make sure that his needs were taken are of. They went above and beyond the duty of friendship. They showed faith and love in action. As Christians, we must surround ourselves with good Christian friends, and we must in turn be a good Christian friend. We need to be there for one another and show the love of Christ and our faith in Him in our daily actions. But, we can’t just show that love and faith in action to those we love and care about. That would be easy. We have to show that same love and faith in action to those that we don’t even like. Yes, that makes things a little more difficult. If we are truly living for Christ, we can’t just love the lovables. We have to love them all. We have to go above and beyond for people that are hard to love and even more difficult to like.
We can’t just keep talking the good talk. We have to start actively walking the walk. We have to put our faith into action. We know that our Lord and Savior is capable of healing a paralyzed man, who has been lowered through a hole in the roof, by speaking the words, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” We know that that same Savior is still the same today as He was then, and He is still in the business of saving and forgiving. We have faith in these things, but do we exhibit that faith in our daily actions? Do those we come in contact with see our faith in action? My friends, these are the questions on my heart today, and I plan to start working toward being able to answer them with an emphatic yes! No, I’m not where I want to be. Not by a long shot, but I’m definitely not where I used to be. I know I have the faith of those four men who lowered their paralyzed friend through a hole in a roof. I need to start exhibiting that faith in action!