What do you do when illness or tragedy or troubles or anxiety or difficulties strike someone you know? It could be a friend, or family member, or even a person you hear about! Let me tell you a story about a man with a debilitating illness and how his friends helped him in a time of His great need.
What can we do? How can we help?
I’ve been studying the book of Mark this summer. One of my favorite stories begins in chapter 2! I think it has a lot of say to us.
This story struck me deep in my heart when I first read it years ago, and to this day, it is still on my mind.
Our story takes place in Capernaum, a town right on the seashore of the Sea of Galilee.
This little fishing town was the home base of Jesus during his three-year public ministry.
Jesus, by the time of this story, had reached rock star status in all of Israel and the surrounding areas for his healing and teaching.
On one particular day, he was at the home of Peter, and a great, huge crowd gathered. Jesus was inside, “speaking the word.”
While Jesus was preaching, four men came to the house, bringing their paralyzed friend on a pallet. They had heard that Jesus was able to heal people.
Upon arriving at the house, they couldn’t get close to the door because of the great crowds that came to hear Jesus. What happened next was astonishing!
Those four men were not deterred by the crowds.
Listen to what they did…
AND BEING UNABLE TO GET TO HIM (JESUS) BECAUSE OF THE CROWD, THEY REMOVED THE ROOF ABOVE HIM; AND WHEN THEY HAD DUG AN OPENING, THEY LET DOWN THE PALLET ON WHICH THE PARALYTIC WAS LYING. MARK 2:4
Can you just see it? Can you see these men scrambling up onto the flat roof of this ancient seaside home?
The roof was probably made of a cross-section of rough timber beams covered with a thick coating of mud plaster. Grass would actually grow on the top of the roof. The rooves were sturdy enough for people to sleep on then and also worship there.
I wonder if Jesus and the multitudes inside could hear all the commotion above as the men dissembled the roof?
As the men ripped off the grass and dug the dried mud with their hands to make an opening large enough for a man and his pallet to be lowered through it, did much of the debris fall on Jesus and the people inside?
What was the reaction of all the people?
I love to think of bible stories and their real-life details!
Because of the tenacious action of the four men, the paralytic had his audience with Jesus and was healed! And because of the healing, the once paralyzed man walked away praising God! What an amazing story!
But here is what touches me so deeply…
The Blessing Of Interceeding
These men carried their friend in need to the only One who could do something about his condition. They brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus.
Every time we pray for someone… a friend, a precious family member, or just someone in need, we are carrying them to the feet of Jesus.
Can relate to the men who dug through that mud roof to get to Jesus. They must have cared for the paralytic, and they would not let a crowded, blocked door stand in their way!
It is a privilege to carry someone, by intercessory prayer, to the Throne of Grace!
The One Who Knows Us
Hebrews 4: 14-16 says…
SINCE THEN WE HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST WHO HAS PASSED THROUGH THE HEAVENS, JESUS THE SON OF GOD, LET US HOLD FAST TO OUR CONFESSION. FOR WE DO NOT HAVE A HIGH PRIEST WHO CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH OUR WEAKNESS, BUT ONE WHO HAS BEEN TEMPTED IN ALL THINGS AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.
LET US THEREFORE, COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF OUR GRACIOUS GOD THAT WE MAY FIND MERCY AND GRACE IN OUR TIME OF NEED. Hebrews 4:14-16
What the men in our story did for their parlayed friend was very bold!
And James 5:16 says…
THEREFORE, CONFESS YOUR SINS TO ONE ANOTHER, AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTIVE PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN CAN ACCOMPLISH MUCH.
Talking to God about others in need is the biggest and the best thing we can do for them!
Pray and continue to pray.
Visually see yourself on top of that roof, digging away the mud so you can lower your friend, family member, or someone in need carefully down to lovingly place them at the feet of Jesus! And keep doing it!
Don’t give up!!!
What if the friends of the paralyzed man stopped taking him to Jesus because they could not get near the door? The man would have never been healed!
They would let nothing stop them! Not the crowds, not the roof, nothing!
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer! Don’t underestimate that your prayer and the faith you have in the ONE you are praying to can literally move mountains!
Believe in God! Believe in Jesus, the Healer, the Son of God, and His miracle ability! Look for His nail-pierced hands to move in the situation you are praying about. Expect miracles!!!
It may not be the miracle you want, but He is faithful to answer prayer in His perfect way!
Trust God! Trust Him!
Who Are You Praying For
Who are you bringing to Jesus on a pallet today?
Scripture to remember…
LET US THEREFORE, COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF OUR GRACIOUS GOD THAT WE MAY FIND MERCY AND GRACE IN OUR TIME OF NEED. Hebrews 4:6
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