Bible Reference: Mark 2:2-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 2 ….While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 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 down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
OBSERVATION: The determination of these men carrying the paraplegic is to be admired. They didn’t let the crowds stop them, nor the leaders that were probably there helping with crowd control. They didn’t let the walls of the building stop them, for they got up on the roof with the man on the stretcher. The roof was no hindrance, for they dug a hole through it that was large enough to fit a stretcher through it – probably 80″ by 30″ or more. They had a determination to get their friend before Jesus, no matter what obstacles stood in their way.
APPLICATION: I wonder how disappointed the men were after going through all that they did, yet when Jesus saw the young man He didn’t immediately address the issue of paralysis, but rather attended to the condition of his heart and his readiness to meet God. I wonder how much this story parallels our earnest prayers to God, where we are concerned for our family and friends’ welfare or health, but seldom show deep concern for the salvation of their soul for eternity? Would we ‘go to bat’ over their salvation as much as we would for other things in their life that we feel might impact their normal living here on earth? How often do we forget that the things of this earth are temporal and could very easily be gone today or tomorrow? Yet the condition of their soul will determine their eternity. Should we be concerned for the physical, financial and personal welfare of our friends? If we didn’t then one would question if they are truly our friends, but I believe Jesus showed the Pharisees, and is showing us, that there is one concern that trumps all other concerns in life, and that is the spiritual condition of the individual. When you know that your friend is ready to meet their Savior and Lord, and that they are living daily to be more like Him here on earth, then all other needs will fall into place, for God cares intimately for His children and He will not bring anything on us beyond what we can bear, nor will He burden us with anything that will not bring glory to Himself. So friends, let me encourage you this Easter weekend, to look just a little differently at those you love and will spend time with this weekend. Look beyond their physical and material needs and pray with them about their spiritual needs, should there be a need to do that. Our greatest need in life is to be the individual that God designed us to be – one that will worship Him and bring glory to Him, in everything we do, until Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. I’m ready for that reunion friends, and I want each of you, and all of my family and friends to also be ready to join me for that meeting at the foot of the cross! Oh ‘What a Day That will Be’!
PRAYER: Than You Jesus for all that You willingly did that very first ‘Good Friday’ and the glory of that first ‘Easter’ morning! As we celebrate the events of that occasion again this year, I pray that although we will be touched by the drama of all that You went through, yet we will never lose sight of the fact that You did it all for us. Thank You Lord Jesus! I am eternally grateful Heavenly Father! In much the same way that You were willing to do whatever it took to save Your children from the awful stain of sin and damnation, I pray that each of us will commit to being so concerned about our family and friends that we would recommit to sharing Your love with them and allowing them to see the meaning of the cross and the possibilities of their eternity with You. There was nothing more important to You Lord Jesus. I pray that we would be very much the same in our concern for others. May You be glorified and lifted up this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of the crucified, yet risen Lord Jesus, AMEN!