Faith of friends

Mark 2:1-12

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that He had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get Him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8Immediately Jesus knew in His spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and He said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, 11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Mark records these amazing words about a group of guys who carried their friend to Jesus:  “When Jesus saw their faith,” He forgave the paralytic and healed him. Their faith, not necessarily the faith of the paralyzed man; their faith prompted the forgiveness and the miracle of new life and healing.

Why? Because we who follow Jesus are meant to carry other people who can’t follow on their own. Maybe, we who follow Jesus are even meant to believe for other people who can’t believe or won’t believe or are too beaten-up or broken down to believe.

I mean, carrying others and even believing for others when is a really strange part of what it means to follow Jesus as disciples.  We are to carry people to Jesus who can’t get there themselves.