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    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    The Faith of Friends

    Recently, I was reading the story in Mark 2:1-12 where Jesus heals a paralytic.

      Many of you reading this I am sure are familiar with this story. 

      "And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them" (Mark 2:1-2 ESV).

      Jesus was preaching to a packed house (literally).  No one could get in it was so jammed.  Yet there was a crew of men who had a friend who was paralyzed.   They desperately sought out Jesus because they truly believed he was the answer to the healing of this man.  They sought to have their friend walk.  The couldn't get in the door.  The windows were probably too small are packed with people. They had to think quick and act fast.  In those days, many of the houses had stairs to the roof, so they decided to go up to the roof, cut a hole and lower their friend right in front of Jesus, hoping against hope that Jesus would take pity on the man and heal him.

     First, let's note the dedication of the friends in this story.  These men were determined, nothing was going to get in their way of going hard after Jesus.  Nothing, not even a crowd was going to slow them down from getting to Jesus.

      Who knows how long their friend was paralyzed.  Who knows if they were there when it happened to him.  My guess is they were best friends before the accident that caused the paralysis.  They knew this man from his former life and loved him. 

      No matter the story, these men were determined to bring him to Jesus and they did just that.  Now, here is the part that blows my mind:

    "And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."'(Mark 2:5 ESV)

      That little sentenced caused me much time to pause.  Jesus seeing their faith forgave the man's sins.  Normally it comes down to the faith of the person forgiven in the other stories of this nature, yet the faith of the friends was what Jesus saw and their faith in Him caused Him to forgive the paralytic!

      Think of the implications! The faith of the friends moved Jesus to action! They knew Jesus could heal his infirmity, but this, this is so much more!  Does this mean that our faith on the behalf of others can move Jesus to action on their behalf?  I think so!

      This Sunday in the Chapel service at ACAC (my church) I was leading.  During this service, we allow for a testimony time and one older lady raised her hand to share.  She said that for 27 years she prayed for her husband to receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and after 27 years he accepted Christ and shortly after he passed away.

      I believe her faith moved Jesus to action.  She was willing to lose sleep over it.  She was willing to pray until her heart ached.  She prayed through year after year of no answer.  Yet Jesus said to her husband after 27 years:  "your sins are forgiven".  He in that story had to choose that forgiveness, he had to ask for it for himself, but Jesus was working on him for 27 years.

      As friends of non-believers, our faith can move God.  Our prayers can help people come to know Him.  Most of the time, I pray for myself, I think of myself and I try to get healing for myself.  What if I was like the friends in this true life story?  What if  I fought through crowds and was creative enough to lower them before Jesus in any way possible?

      The faith of friends is powerful.  Jesus honored their faith.  He not only forgave sins (BIG Miracle) he healed the paralysis (small miracle)!

      Let us not lose heart for eternal or temporal healing for those we love!