Jesus never missed an opportunity to proclaim His grace.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. Simon and his companions searched for him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come’ ” (Mark 1:35-38, CSB). Wherever He was, He “preached that people should repent” (Mark 6:12, CSB). It was “necessary that the gospel be preached to all nations” (Mark 13:10, CSB). He even multiplied His effectiveness by commissioning others “whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14, CSB)
That’s exactly what Jesus was doing at home in Capernaum. Home probably meant Peter’s home, which had become his ministry’s home base! At home, Jesus was “preaching the word” (Mark 2:2, ESV). He was teaching truth!
The little house was crowded. Without America’s sense of personal space, they were crowded, crammed and packed. They weren’t practicing social distancing! Sardines anyone? (Crazy thought... God had not yet created antiperspirant, and they didn’t waste lots of water bathing... sorry, just a thought.)
That’s when they showed up. Four buddies and their friend, a “paralytic” (which probably meant a quadriplegic) they carried on a stretcher.
Upon arrival, it was obvious they weren’t getting in, but they had another plan. It was nuts, but it would work. They carried their helpless pal up the outside stairs... probably more like a ladder. On the flat roof, they began their work.
With their bare hands, they peeled back the dirt, twigs and sticks, making a stretcher-sized hole. Meanwhile, with dirt sifting down from the project above, Jesus was still preaching below. With the excavation complete, the four friends tied twine to the four corners of the stretcher and lowered their friend to Jesus.
Can you imagine it? With their helpless pal resting safely on the ground below, Ennie, Meany, Miney and Moe all have their faces sticking through the hole. Each had a satisfied grin. Each had a pair of pleading eyes.
“Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ ” (Mark 2:5, CSB). When Jesus recognized the faithfulness of the four buddies, He spoke to the quadriplegic, providing healing, both spiritual and physical.
“I tell you: get up, take your mat, and go home” (Mark 2:11, CSB). Quadriplegics don’t do that... unless Jesus commands it! Jesus did. Then the once-paralyzed man was paralyzed no longer!
The man, once racked by sin and shame, was forgiven. The man, once helpless and hopeless, danced out. He had been messed-up, but Jesus changes everything! Remember, messed-up people are His specialty.
A note from the Blogger:
I started writing this blog on April 1, 2020, shortly after the world shut down and we sheltered in place. Since then, I have written and posted a short blog daily, seven days each week. Though I wonder if life will ever be “normal” again, I do sense things beginning to move in that direction. My life as a pastor is getting busier. Thankfully.
I have enjoyed blogging. It’s been a gratifying spiritual exercise during this season. As the Lord leads, I plan to continue blogging, but beginning this week, I will post only Monday through Friday.
Thanks for your expressions of encouragement. I pray that you would fall more deeply in love with Jesus and His Word as you read each day’s offering.
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor