I believe we all know the story from the bedridden man from Mark 2,1-12 and his healing. We read about his friends and how they let him down through the roof on ropes because the people where standing so close to each other that there was no possibility to get through. Interestingly we don´t know the names of these 4 friends and of the bedridden man and I think it has a specific reason. I think this miracle does not only refer to the time 2000 years ago but has the same relevance for us today. That means everyone can put their name in this story and can live it through on his own. Everyone of us could be one of the four friends and every one of us could be the bedridden man. I believe this story is timeless and it teaches us how faith in action can and should look like. Jesus still heals today the bedridden and sick people, and he still saves today those who are lost.
1. The brazen faith
Imagine this, someone would today get on the roof of your doctor and break a hole open to get in. I think every normal doctor would be upset and ask the person to please use the door and wait for their turn. This behavior would be rude. Anyone who comes late has to wait or as it is said “Who comes first, eats first”. But it didn´t matter to the 4 friends what others would think of them. They knew Jesus was this man’s chance, maybe the only chance for their sick friend to be healed and they became creative. They carried the bedridden man on the roof, broke it open a bit and let him down on ropes. Back in those days you were able to climb the flat roof of a house by using the stairs outside. They showed a strong faith that Jesus could heal their friend by their determination.
2. A faith that saves
Mark 2,5 “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the sick man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” WHICH TRANSLATTION? We are reading here that the faith of the friends lead to the salvation of the bedridden man. They introduced Jesus to him. The same applies to us to show the determination that Jesus cares for the needs and brokenness of people and to use every opportunity that we have to introduce the people to Jesus. I am reminded of a young man whom I met seven years ago on the street and I told him about Jesus. A conversation that was planned to be short stretched up to three hours and out of that a friendship was built. I spend time with him in my daily LIFE?, and we started to read the bible and pray together. Besides that, he started to get to know other Christians at youth events when I took him with me. However then came a time when the contact to this person was broken and I didn´t hear anything from him for years, never mind seeing him. Last year I surprisingly meet him again and he told me that he has decided to follow Jesus and that his life has changed. He said “Benjamin, you told me about Jesus seven years ago and it was the best thing that happened to me. Thank you.” He got baptized in the beginning of the year and God has visibly changed his life.
This testimony encourages me today to use every opportunity to introduce Jesus to the people because Jesus still saves even if it takes seven years. I hope that you are encouraged too.
3. A faith that heals
Mark 2, 11-12 “I say to you, ‘Get up. Take your bed and go to your home.’” At once the sick man got up and took his bed and went away. Everybody saw him. They were all surprised and wondered about it. They thanked God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” WHICH TRANSLATTION? It was the faith and the determination of the 4 friends that lead to the spiritual salvation and physical healing of the bedridden man. It is a wonderful example of how God can use our faith to heal friends, family members and other people. It needs a faith that is active and determined that Jesus is the only chance for the person. I ask myself are we ready to pray or even fast for our dear ones if it is necessary so that they can be saved and healed? Are we ready to invite them to a place or create a place where Jesus can encounter them? Are we ready to be a friend who believes even when everything seems lost and impossible? Let us learn from this story that the active/audacious faith of a friend can bring salvation and healing to someone who doesn´t know Jesus and/or is sick.
„Faith has to look like something” – Dr. Rev Suzette Hattingh