Recently, we studied in Mark chapter 2 the story of the friends of the paralyzed man who set their friend before Jesus through a hole in the roof.
Jesus showed the people that he was God, that he had the authority to forgive sins. For me, at this time in my life, that is not a hard thing to believe. What really struck me as we read this account is how Jesus honored the faith of the man’s friends.
Mark 2:5: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
At this point, the paralyzed man had not asked Jesus to forgive his sins, or for anything, as far as we can tell. Jesus saw what the men who carried the man were willing to do to help their friend. They push through the crowd, damaged a home, and put themselves in front of the religious leaders. Jesus honored them by forgiving the man’s sins, and by healing him physically.
At that time, there would have been nothing a person with a disability could have done except live at the expense of friends, relatives, or whoever would have been willing to give to him as a beggar. He had no other hope in his life. Jesus had compassion for this man’s great need, and honored what his friends were willing to do for him.
I have no doubt that the man became a follower of Jesus. Whatever his sins, they were forgiven. He was healed, but more important than that, he was made right with God. Jesus met his deepest need, his spiritual need.
The man’s friends risked much to plead for Jesus’ help, and he honored that. It made me realize that I need to be willing to risk much for the people I know of who have a need for Jesus to heal, whatever the need, whatever I need to do to bring them before Jesus.
I want to take risks for people for Jesus. I am not as brave as these men were, but I believe Jesus will honor the truth in my heart—my feeble faith, the small amount I can give, my stumbling words of witness, my heart-felt prayer. Lord, help me to grow in the risks I will take for those you love.