After a few days, Jesus went back to Capernaum, and people heard that he was at home. So many gathered that there was no longer space, not even near the door. Jesus was speaking the word to them. Some people arrived, and four of them were bringing to him a man who was paralyzed. They couldn’t carry him through the crowd, so they tore off part of the roof above where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they lowered the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven!” Some legal experts were sitting there, muttering among themselves, “Why does he speak this way? He’s insulting God. Only the one God can forgive sins.” Jesus immediately recognized what they were discussing, and he said to them, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? Which is easier—to say to a paralyzed person, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk’? But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “Get up, take your mat, and go home.” Jesus raised him up, and right away he picked up his mat and walked out in front of everybody. They were all amazed and praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”
Food For Thought:
This story is directly about Jesus healing a man who was paralyzed, but it is indirectly about friendship. These four friends cared deeply for a man who was paralyzed. They had heard about Jesus and believed in his ability to heal. In an over-the-top gesture of love and trust, they ripped off part of the roof and lowered the man on his mat. And the scripture says, “When Jesus saw THEIR faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven!’”―and he didn’t stop there. He went on to heal the man, allowing him to go home on his own. All of this occurred because he had a few friends with big faith. We all need friends who will carry us when we are broken and who will drag us (if that’s what it takes!) to the healing presence of Jesus. Who are the friends who have cared for your soul? Have you spoken with them recently? Reconnect today, knowing that none of us can or should walk alone.
God, I know I can’t do this alone! I can’t know you fully by myself, and I can’t know my own heart fully by myself. God, give me the strength to let others carry me through life and faith. Give me the courage to invite others into my story. And when others need to be carried, send me.
If you would like to connect to an individual, a class or a small group who you could walk with through life and faith, we’d love to help you! Please contact Rev. Casey Langley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of our other pastors.