A Lesson from the Gospels…
In today’s Gospel, we learn:
“They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.'” -Mark 2:3-5, NAB
Today’s Gospel was so fantastic, that it is worth repeating. As we begin to read the story of this healing by Jesus, we must first understand one thing. In the first century, if you were afflicted with some kind of disease or illness, then it was assumed that God was punishing you for your wicked ways. So, this paralytic man was seen as being one who had sinned greatly against God.
The paralytic man, and the men who helped carry him, showed a great act of faith by approaching Jesus. Ordinarily, the paralytic man was a social reject, but he had faith that he could approach Jesus. When they struggled to find a way in, they came in by tearing through the roof. There was nothing that was going to stop these men. Can we say the same thing about our faith? Do we have that kind of conviction? When was the last time that you were willing to risk it all because of your faith?
Because of their great faith, the man was forgiven of his sins. There were people in the crowd who questioned what Jesus was doing, and in response He said,
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise, pick up your mat and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth’ – He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.'” -Mark 2:9-11
Which is the greater gift, gaining the ability to walk again or the forgiveness of sins? Of course, the forgiveness of sins is far more important than any physical healing, but there are many times when our prayers focus solely on the realities of this world. Our faith can be rocked based on the struggles that we face today. Let go of the fears and worries that keep you paralyzed in your faith, and you will find peace and joy in the hope that forgiveness awaits you.
There are two lessons that we learned today. First, if we truly want to see miracles happen in our lives, then we need to be willing to put it all on the line. We need to pour everything we have into our faith and leave nothing behind. Then, we must realize that the spiritual healing we receive through Christ far outweighs the physical. Our bodies may perish, but our souls will live on.
Through faith, God is going to do amazing things in your life, if you are willing to allow Him. When you feel paralyzed in your faith and unable to move, call on your brothers and sisters to carry you. When obstacles seem to keep you from Christ, tear your way through the roof.