Mark 2:1-12

         One of my favorite New Testament stories comes from Mark 2.  Jesus has returned to his hometown and people overflow the house to hear him teach.  Four men bring their paralyzed friend to be healed.  They have to resort to lowering their friend through a hole they dig in the ceiling.  While on the mission field I tried to tell the story with my very primitive language skills.  The next week I asked if anyone remembered the story.  The women were all excited about a sick man who came to Jesus with four camels.  What!!!  In their language the word for “friend” and the word for “camel” were the same only the tones were different.

         Jesus is impressed with the faith of the friends and tells the man his sins are forgiven.  The religious skeptics are shocked.  The man’s flesh had failed him and the scholars’ hearts failed them.  Both had a kind of paralysis.  Jesus responds to both,

         “8-12 Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both .  ” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” 

         Last Friday my husband, who is fighting Parkinson’s disease, had to be put on total bed care as he was so weak and disoriented and his wounds had gone necrotic.  It looked really terminal.  We immediately sent out the news to all our friends.  We did not ask for a miracle but that he would be held in their prayers.  I fed him all weekend.  Monday I arrived to find him sitting up and feeding himself.  Today I arrived to find him in the wheel chair and able to eat at the table with others.  As our friends took my husband to Jesus, things changed.  Was it the prayers, antibiotics, a blip in the progression of the disease?  I don’t know but I would like to factor in God.

         The resurrection means that Jesus, true man and true God, is alive and active in our world today.  We don’t get all our prayers answered that dramatically but sometimes we see his hand acting.

“Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.”

Amazing Grace by John Newton, Verse 5

God bless as you walk through faith challenges and walk with friends!

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