What’s Eating You?

“While He was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. (Mark 2:2b-3 NLT)

Love for someone can cause us to do unusual and unexpected things. Mark shares a story about a paralyzed man who couldn’t get to Jesus on his own, so his friends carried him. Can you “hear” the conversation the four men had with their paralyzed friend?

It wouldn’t surprise me if their friend objected at first. “No, come on guys, don’t make such a fuss. I’ve been to many doctors, and they all say the same thing – I’m incurable. There’s nothing anyone can do. You’re wasting your time. I’m sure this Jesus is a very good preacher and a good man, but I don’t think it’s worth bothering Him. Besides, you know how painful it is for me to move.”

In my mind’s eye I see one of them finally say: “We’re taking you!” So, they took their friend to Jesus. But the problems didn’t stop there. The crowd was so large they couldn’t push through. So, they came up with a plan to lower their friend down in front of Jesus by removing part of the roof of the person’s house where He was.

Talk about gutsy! Whoa! How in the world would you get a paralyzed man on the roof in the first place? Then keep him still while you removed a section of the roof? What if the whole roof caved in? What if…?

Sometimes in our efforts to be of help to someone, we give in to the “What if’s.” We allow satan to defeat us before we get started. I believe one of this man’s friends was the catalyst to get the proverbial “ball” rolling to take their friend to Jesus. He was visibly disturbed, so his friends asked him: “What’s eating you?” One thing led to another and before long, refusing to be deterred, their friend was lying in front of Jesus.

Can you see the smile on Jesus’ face as pieces of the roof begin to fall on peoples’ heads? Can you hear the excitement of the crowd as they murmur questions of varying kinds to one another? Then the Bible says: “Seeing THEIR faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’” As a result of the faith of these four men, their friend was not only healed, but forgiven.  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ron Hutchcraft told this story: “I was meeting with Bill. He was a championship high school football player, but he was in rehab the second time for cocaine addiction. He learned about God’s help through the 12-step Narcotics Anonymous Program. I asked him, ‘Bill, did you learn how Jesus could be your helper with your addiction?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Did you know that addiction is not your problem?’ He said, ‘It isn’t?’ I said, ‘No. Sin is your problem. Addiction is your symptom. You need now to find out how He can be your Savior from your sin.’”

Until the Spirit begins to stir in our heart and mind, and the desperate need of someone close to us begins to “eat” at us, they may never come to know their deepest need is forgiveness. They may be sick physically, emotionally, financially, relationally, or in any number of other ways, but the core problem with which they need to come to grips is their sin sickness.

While we’re not told how long the man who was healed had been paralyzed, the probability that he would ever have been healed without the intervention of his friends is likely zero. Whose sin sickness will likely never be healed unless and until you take them to Jesus? That journey begins in prayer and will one day come to fruition by your faith and God’s forgiveness, if you’re willing to exercise the faith of these four friends in the Bible.

Please don’t let anything keep you from getting your friend to Jesus. Do you need to elicit the help of a few brothers or sisters to make that happen? Let the Lord lead, He will point you to the right people and the right way to help your friend or loved one get to Jesus. He’s the only One who can forgive…and heal!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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