Paralyzed No More

In Mark 2, we find a beautiful, powerful story of a paralyzed man who was healed by Jesus. The faith and diligence of four men made possible an almost impossible task. By removing all the obstacles and going above and beyond with a very unconventional act, they were able to bring the paralyzed man to the feet of Jesus. I said “unconventional act” since I want to believe that making a hole in the roof of a person’s house was not a common practice in Jesus’s time. I wonder how the owner of the house felt when he saw a hole in his roof?

The bible says in verses 2 and 3 that the house where Jesus was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While Jesus was preaching God’s Word, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right in front of Jesus. 

I want to think of those four men as very good friends of the paralyzed man. The Bible does not specify that they were in fact his friends, but if someone is willing to lift you up, give you hope, and work so hard to take you to a place where you can be seen and healed, wow! In my book, those are amazing friends.

Life can be difficult; therefore, it is so important to have close friends that are willing to hold you or even carry you when you feel paralyzed, friends that are capable of supporting your weight when you cannot stand on your own. I cannot imagine the life of this paralyzed man, always depending on someone else’s mercy to move from one place to another. Such a dependent life must be difficult. Confined to a mat, without the freedom to move or do as you wish. Even if you are blessed with beautiful people around you, their love and care can only take you so far.

This man’s friends carried him through the crowd, lifted him up, made a hole in the roof, and lowered him to the feet of Jesus. All their efforts were great, but they could not give the paralyzed man what he ultimately needed. The complete healing, and total freedom could only come from the One who holds the power to forgive and heal, Jesus Christ.

In verse 5 Jesus says to this man: “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Just to make sure it was clear to all the observers that He had the authority to forgive, Jesus turned to the paralyzed man once again and said: Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.” The Bible says that the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. What an amazing story! He was finally completely free, not only from his paralyzed physical state, but more importantly, Jesus had freed him from his paralyzed spiritual state by forgiving his sins. No longer would he depend on his friends to move from here to there. From that moment on, he was able to pick up his own mat and walk in the freedom that Jesus brought to his life. Are there areas in your life that relate to this man’s story? Maybe you are constantly depending on others to lift you up or feel paralyzed because of doubt or sin. Jesus also says to you: My child, your sins are forgiven. Stand up, pick up your mat, and come home to me.”