And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:1-5)
Friends With Faith
One of the most valuable treasures in life is the company of friends. A person without friends is a person that is lost and alone. There will be times in life when having someone to talk to, listen to and be encouraged by is the only way to get through the day. Man was not created to be alone but to enjoy the companion of others whether as a family or a family of people that are dear to the heart. A friend is someone who will care like no other. When sickness comes having a comrade that will rally to the need helps alleviate the burden of the illness and makes the heart lighter in its burden. Jesus had come to Capernaum and was in a house preaching when He was interrupted by some men that had climbed on the roof and began dismantling the structure letting down a bed with a man suffering from a paralytic disease. If we back the story up a little bit we see that a man is lying on a bed suffering a great deal. His friends are concerned for him and are unsure how to help. They hear that Jesus of Nazareth is at a house in Capernaum and have heard of his healing power. Believing that a man can heal a disease takes an incredible amount of faith. The four friends discuss what they can do to help their companion and come to a unified decision to take him to Jesus. How far the distance to the house is unknown but four men take four corners of the mans bed and began walking toward where Jesus is. Coming to the house they see a great crowd of people pushing into the house making it impossible for them to enter. This would seem to frustrate their plans and for a moment unsure what to do next. They are determined to have Jesus see their friend if per chance the man from Nazareth would heal him. One of the friends tells the others the only solution is to take the man on the roof and make an opening to let their friends down. Ropes are secured and the men struggle to carry their friend on the roof. When they reach to top of the house they begin to break through the house. There can be little doubt this caused quite a stir among the crowd; needless to say the owner of the house. Undeterred they make a large enough opening and begin lowering their friend to the floor. As the sun drifts through the opening with dust and debris filling the air all eyes are on the four men staring down at their friend. Jesus looks up at the faces of four men who have carried their friend with their own hands and filled with such urgency to have Jesus heal their friend have torn open a place in the roof of another man’s home. As the four men peer down to Jesus their hearts are breaking for something to be done for the paralytic. Jesus then turns to the man on the bed and tells him his sins are forgiven. This will cause a stir among the Jewish leaders and Jesus will then heal the man of his paralysis as he rises from the ground, takes up his bed and to the complete joy and amazement of everyone (especially his four friends) walks right out the door. The crowd would not let the four friends come in the door with the man on the bed but the man carrying his bed parted the crowd as he walked out the door. Five men return home filled with incredible joy, happiness and companionship.
A band of brothers was formed that day that would be inseparable until the day they died. Five men became closer friends because of what Jesus had done. The miracle of healing was carried out by Jesus. The man left not only healed of his physical paralysis but also the paralysis of his heart. Looking into the heart of the man Jesus first forgave his sins. At the moment that was a more pressing need than healing the man. It also served to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. No man has the authority to forgive sins but God. What the Jewish leaders failed to see in this miracle is the power of God to heal the man was the same power that forgave the man. Jesus could not have healed the man without the authority of the Father. The only way Jesus could have forgiven the man of his sins was through the authority of the Father. None of this would have been possible without the four friends who had such great faith they believed Jesus could heal their brother. Jesus saw the faith of the four men as they peered through the broken ceiling. His response was to heal their friend lying on the ground.
The story of Jesus healing the paralytic is a story of four friends. They saw the need of the man whom they called their friend and they went to extreme measures to help their companion. It was not easy to carry their friend but they did. It took time, muscle, determination, grit and a loving heart to exert whatever needed to done to be done so their friend could have a chance at a better life. They took apart the roof of another man’s house. Nothing was going to stop them. It would not be surprising to know they returned and fixed the man’s roof. The story does not say but their hearts tell a different story. Four men who believed in the power of a carpenter’s son from Nazareth changed the life of one man doomed to lie in a bed all of life. There are many people walking around with the disease of sin looking for friends who will bring them to Jesus. The men could not heal their friend but they knew who could. They did their part and Jesus did His part and the man was saved. One of the most important things we can do for others is to lead them to Jesus. No man can save another because that can only come by the power of God but what can be done is one person bringing another person to hear the words of salvation. There will be hindrances in the way but determined hearts will find a way to make an opening and opportunity for someone to hear the gospel. Too often it seems we sit by the bed of the paralytic and mourn the fact they cannot be with Jesus; when in fact it is incumbent upon our efforts to help them come to Jesus. Should we not try everything we can to help others come to know the healing power of Jesus Christ? Only He can heal them but often it may be the reason they are not healed is we do not have the faith of the four friends who saved their brother. Grab a corner and let’s work together to bring people to Christ. What a difference the faith of four friends made in the life of one man.