Following Jesus: Can Jesus See Your Faith for Them?

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February 14, 2021

Mark 2:3-12 (NIV)

Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

CONSIDER THIS

Everybody wanted to get in the room to hear Jesus. Everybody, that is, except a small group of men. Their first thought ran to their paralyzed friend across town. They thought, “If we could just get Ronnie to Jesus, it could change everything.” 

They were the intercessors. 

This must be one of the more awkward structured sentences in the Bible: Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 

They were too late. No more room. And no one seemed to want to make room. 

This is the problem with church as we know it. 

These men were on a mission and they would not be stopped. Their mission? Get their friend to Jesus. Note, though, they weren’t trying to get their friend into heaven. They weren’t trying to get their friend to believe something about Jesus. They wanted to get their friend to Jesus. What results is one of the most compelling scenes of love and friendship in the New Testament. Watch this:

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.

That is off the chain boldness. It’s incredible. It’s audacious. It’s out of bounds. It’s wrong on so many levels and yet it is so right. Now, pay very close attention to these next five words. They are easy to miss amid all the spectacular things about to unfold, yet they may be the most significant words in the whole story (next to the digging through the roof part):

When Jesus saw their faith,

The Son of God was interrupted. The meeting was off the rails. There was a hole in the roof. The floor was covered in debris. The people were probably murmuring. And here’s the pitch:

When Jesus saw their faith,

You can read the rest of the story. It is spectacular—mind blowing, really. I just can’t get past this today:

When Jesus saw their faith,

It’s got me asking, who am I having faith “for” these days, and how would Jesus even know?

THE PRAYER

Almighty God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, this love of these friends encourages me and yet even more it challenges me. Show me the people you want me to rise up in faith for. Show me what that looks like, in the most practical, action-oriented, even audacious way. Give me a step to take in that direction today. How can I help get people to you? Increase the power and creativity of my love to that end, Jesus—getting people to you. I pray in your name, Amen.  

THE QUESTION

Do you know people who don’t know Jesus who need help getting to him? Do you know people who do know Jesus who need help now to get to him? Do you know people who have needs in their lives (whether they know Jesus or not) who need help to get to Jesus? What might it mean for Jesus to “see” your faith for them?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

P.S.

It’s a big week ahead: We climb Transfiguration Mountain tomorrow, celebrate the expanse of the gospel on Tuesday and kneel together in the Ashes on Wednesday. PLEASE JOIN US ONLINE WEDNESDAY EVENING 6-8PM (central) Register here (no charge). The 40 Days ahead will be the most consequential Lent of our lifetimes so far. Grab your songbook for the Soundtrack journey here.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

1 COMMENT

  1. Do we not all know some or many that are in the need of Jesus. My peace lays in the assurance; Jesus is faithful to his word, in wanting none to perish. For God so unconditionally loved the world that he sent Jesus.
    I also trust in the sovereignty of God. For the Egyptian’s saw the wonders of God, and just maybe some repented,
    I do not know. BUT eventually God harden the heart of Pharaoh. Why? So that he may display his glory to all those who knew him and knew him not. I believe that God reveals himself to all-everyone, and everyone chooses to reject or accept who he truly is. In this I have peace, because I trust in his unconditional love above his laws.

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