‘When Jesus saw their faith, he said. ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.”’ (Luke 5v20)
The idea for this blog came to me, as I was lying in bed last night. I was about to fall to sleep, when my mind began being filled with all these thoughts about the account of the paralysed man. I was tired, I was ready to fall asleep, but I was prompted to write down what was being put into my mind. I am thankful I did because this is truly such a beautiful and timely topic to write about. Let us focus on the account of the paralysed man and the lessons of faith that can be applied to our own lives. I feel like as the world becomes more isolated now, due to the alarming spread of coronavirus. We need to remember to support and encourage one another. I am made more and more aware of our brothers and sisters who struggle with mental health, this is not a matter of shame or guilt. There has been a real tug on my heart, for prayer and intention in dealing with this topic because I know how deeply it affects people. Our faith is not for our own personal gain; I believe the Lord uses it to reach out and bring others to him. That is something we should focus on, reaching out to those around us.
‘Some men came carrying a paralysed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. (v18-19)
One aspect of the story I was reminded of and it left me in awe; was how, the roof could not even stop the friends from bringing their friend to the feet of Jesus. They saw no limitations to getting their friend there, they were carrying him to the best hope that they knew at that moment.
Their friend’s life was utterly transformed. Within that situation the paralysed man was truly helpless, he allowed his friends to take hold of all that he was and guide him to a man they had placed their hope and trust in. The Lord knew their hearts, knew where their hope had been placed. It states ‘When Jesus saw their faith’, their determination and faith was acknowledged and then he says to the paralysed man that his sins are forgiven.
The paralysed man had to have some faith and trust, to get himself up and walk away from all that had happened. (v25) ‘Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.’ A story that began with this man being in such a helpless situation led to his freedom and transformation of life. He had witnessed the man who had forgiven his sins being challenged by the Pharisees and the teachers, attempting to limit his authority. In the man getting up, it was true testimony not only for his life but for the crowd who surrounded him. For the miracle led to them all praising God. (V26)‘Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” The faith of the friends led to a renewal of faith for many.
On many occasions we are called to be like the friends of the paralysed man, to carry one another through it all. For many of us we know loved ones or people we are close too, who are suffering a lot. They do feel very helpless within their situation, that there is very little they can do to help themselves. I think when we are made aware of those people in our lives, it is a call that we need to step in and support them. That does not mean that we have to fix all their problems, if you look at the friends, they brought someone they loved straight to the feet of Jesus. I cannot remember if I read this or heard it in a sermon, we must remember that we are not God we cannot fix the life of others. We can help and minister in many beautiful ways, at the end of the day it all must be surrendered to God and God will do what God does best.
One important factor is we need to remember to communicate with people. Even when people are not as willing to communicate with us, it is important that we make them feel acknowledged and seen. Regarding the paralysed man, he would have been an outcast from society. However, his friends saw his worth and life and carried him through it all. That is an important reminder for us all. In a world where we are called to look out for ourselves, we need to remember that there is so much more to our lives. When we live for our own gain, we will always miss out on opportunities to see God moving in people’s lives. Take time to love those who are suffering and be intentional, don’t do it just to feel good about yourself but do it because you believe that God is moving within that situation.
Sometimes we need to carry people. One important reminder from the account is, it was not just one man who carried his friend to the feet of Jesus. It states in the account that some men, carried him. That is beautiful how so much can be accomplished together. For one person, it would have been too much of a load to carry on their own. They were able to accomplish so much, when they saw they could not find a way in by the most convenient way; they were able to work together to lower him through the roof and right into the place he needed to be. In supporting one another through life, it needs to be a collective effort and this is emphasised throughout the New Testament letters.
1 Thessalonians 5v11 ‘Therefore encourage on another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’
2 Corinthians 1v3-4 ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’
Sometimes we need to get down in the valley with people, just walk with them with the hope that has been renewed in us. I love these verses from Corinthians because it shows the beauty of God. On many occasions God has comforted me, and I have later been able to share that comfort with someone else that has been suffering. All the glory comes back to God. God made us and he made us capable of loving and serving one another. We learn compassion because he is the Father or compassion and comfort. There is such a beauty in the unity.
Lastly, let us not lose hope. For some people their battle in the valley will be a long one. There may be many barriers and obstacles, that they need to overcome themselves. Sometimes, we are called to be light and hope within that situation. Simply knowing that somewhere is there, is enough to allow them to keep moving forwards. Other times, we may need to carry people for a while. To be more sacrificial with our time, it may even be like the scene from Lord of the Rings when Sam carries Frodo on his back. We need to move forwards together. I truly believe that the Lord will equip us with all we need, as we support and love one another.
Let us not let the world overwhelm each other. For God is far more mightier than everything and anything we will ever face here.
John 16v33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
May you have a blessed week. I have a new blog series beginning in April looking at living in the promises of God, which I am currently working on. We will be looking at the life of David and the promises that God makes throughout the Bible. Until then I have other blogs planned for March. I pray that you will continue to support and encourage those around you. Also, to allow yourself to be supported and encouraged. You are deeply loved and cherished.
God Bless, Victoria