The incident mentioned in Mark 2:1-12 about Jesus healing a paralytic is one of my favourite reads.
While the healing miracle wraps up in 12 verses, when you actually think deep about the difficulty of the situation, you can’t help but be amazed at the relentless faith exercised by the four friends. In one of our youth meetings we enacted this incident among ourselves and that’s when our eyes were opened to a number of facts.
Here are some reasons why the paralytic would have been deprived of his miracle, BUT FOR THE FAITH OF HIS FRIENDS…
1. This was the second time Jesus was coming to the town of Capernaum. Last time He was here (Mark 1:21-37), He had performed wondrous healings and deliverances and consequently the whole town had gathered around Him ( Mark 1:33) to get their needs met. What if the friends go all the way and don’t get a chance meet Him?
2. What if the paralytic was on the heavier side? Carrying him would have been a tough task!
3. Scripture doesn’t mention from how far they came carrying their friend; whether they stayed in the town of Capernaum or came from the outskirts. From their residence to the house where Jesus was could have been a very long distance. Did they go walking all the way? Phew!
4. Wonder whether all the four friends carrying the paralytic were strongly built. What if one was tall, one was short, one was puny and other was fat? Balancing the mat would have been so difficult.
5. What about the path the friends took? Were the roads leveled and good enough for a walking journey?
6. What if one of the friends would have got tired carrying the mat? Or wanted a break? Or wanted to return? Once the journey began it would have been impossible for him to let go leaving the other three stranded with the paralytic.
7. If there was no sensory loss in the paralytic man, the friends would have had to be extremely careful in carrying him and ensure that they don’t hurt or cause pain to him.
8. Surely the passer bys must have looked at them and some must have even sneered. That would have been so discouraging!
9. We don’t know whether the paralytic could speak. We don’t know whether He believed in the healing power of Jesus. If not, the four friends would have had a tough time to convince him and keep him convinced of what they were doing and that it was right.
10. At the back of their minds, the friends must have been little anxious thinking what if Jesus left the house where He was before they could reach to Him.
11. On reaching and finding the house jam packed with no room even at the door, the friends would have got disheartened.
12. The people in the house must have grumbled and raised their voices if they would have tried to get in through the main door crossing everyone.
13. Carrying the paralytic to the roof would have been a herculean task.
14. They were in danger of being thrown out by the crowd and the house owner for the noise and commotion they would have made as they carried the paralytic up to the roof.
15. People around would have discouraged them to climb the roof. It was a perfect impossibility.
16. In order to dismantle the roof they had to be outrageously bold.
17. What was the roof made of? Was it easy to dismantle it? Did they have the necessary tools? Was anyone ready to help?
18. There was every danger of the roof chinks falling on the people who were inside the room.
19. The owner of the house must have severely revolted if had come to know what was happening to his house.
20. It would have been a tough task to take the exact judgement of where Jesus would have been sitting, so that the paralytic would be lowered down exactly in front of Him. Did they have to take 2-3 efforts to dig the roof and find the right spot?
21. All this while who knows the paralytic would have been in pain or extreme discomfort with what they were doing.
22. Finally the paralytic went home healed, but the friends would have to pay the price for the hole in the roof!
What a wonderful incident, and what wonderful friends! They did all that they could to reach their sick friend to Jesus. And Jesus, seeing THEIR faith healed him!
How much are we willing to walk that extra mile to take our loved ones to Jesus?
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