Desperate faith will reach beyond the farthest extreme.
January is coming to a close, and we move closer to the hope of Spring. My cranky bones are longing to languish in the warm sunshine. I suspect I am not alone, that you too are hoping and waiting. Desperate faith!
I have been contemplating Mark, chapter two and the desperate faith of four men. For most of us, Winter is hard, at times stifling, I search for encouragement. In their desperation, four men, friends of the palsied man found in this passage of Scripture give me a clear picture of faith.
Mark 2:1-12 (CSB)
“When he entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and he was speaking the word to them. They came to him bringing a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and after digging through it, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’
But some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts: ‘Why does he speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’
Right away Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat, and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he told the paralytic— ‘I tell you: get up,take your mat, and go home.’
Immediately he got up, took the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”
Jesus is preaching and teaching in a home; commentaries tell us it could be his home. Desperate to hear his words, hoards of people have followed him, crowding into the house. The overflow of people spills out onto the porch crowding around windows, making it impossible to get to Jesus.
Let’s consider the scene. During that time houses were built with flat roofs made of straw and mud, outside steps give accessibility to the top. I can feel the desperation of the men as they carry their friend up the steps, see them as their hands work to peel back the roof. Drops of sweat drip as they lower the man down. At this moment, Jesus looks up, recognizing their faith. Based on their belief, Jesus healed the man.
Four Characteristics Of The Friends
- They were genuinely concerned for their friend.
- They had faith Jesus could and would heal their friend.
- Instead of praying about the situation, they took action.
- They did not allow difficult circumstances to stop them.
These men worked together with desperate faith, and Jesus rewarded them.
Am I this desperate for Jesus? Is my faith and love for others as deep and wide as the four men?
Desperate faith reaches beyond the farthest extreme digging through layers of hardness and removing obstacles. Do I have this measure of confidence in my life? Am I willing to go beyond what holds me back? Is it worth it? Is Jesus worth it?
Gifts of Grace
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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.