1When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3Then some people£ came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5When Jesus saw their faith; he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? 10But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)

This is an amazing story about faith, community, and friendship. Jesus comes home and is probably at Peter’s house. There He is sharing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. As time has gone by, His popularity has grown, and now there are great crowds gathered around Him; not only to hear the Good News, but also to be healed by Him. This evening, Jesus is in the house sharing, teaching and healing. The community is on fire with excitement. Crowds press into the house and there are many outside trying to see and hear.

They are trying to get as close as possible to the Miracle worker. In the town of Capernaum, there is a man who cannot walk. He is blessed to have four friends who are willing to carry him to Jesus. (There are those who are willing to help out a friend). When they arrive there is such a crowd, they make a decision to take him up on the roof, make a hole, and lower him down. When Jesus sees the paralyzed man, He says that his sins are forgiven and also heals him.

There is much to learn from this story. Many things we can be taught about our relationship with God. One that strikes me in this story is about how faith and community come together. Jesus with all power and authority can/will forgive sins and can/will heal. When the paralyzed man’s friends brought him to Jesus, it was an act of love and compassion. They realized Jesus was the only answer for their friend. Jesus was their hope for him. In their conversation, Jesus says, “By their faith you have been made whole.”

What a wonderful and powerful statement for us to hear today! Think about how many times we have prayed for each other. In this story Jesus said by our faith others are healed. Let me implore you to know that by your faith - healing comes to others.

How wonderful it is to know Jesus hears and answers our prayers! Be a friend…someone needs you to pray for them.

Shalom