You know how one thing can create a deep and lasting impression with you? That is how the story of the paralytic in Mark 2:1-5 has always been for me. I find myself thinking about it in odd situations and even measuring my life by it.
Here is why. We are told in Mark 2 that Jesus was preaching in a house in Capernaum, he was followed by such a large crowd that soon, there was no space for people to sit. We are then told of 4 friends who carry a paralysed man on a mat, they could not get in because of the crowd, so they went on top of the building, removed the roof and lowered the man to where Jesus was, so that he could be healed. Now this story seems to be one of faith (and that is good) but for me; it is so much more.
For me, the paralytic teaches a lot of life lessons to us modern day Christians. Have you ever wondered why 4 other people will carry this man to the place where he might find healing? And when they got there, they met the obstacle of a filled room, which in essence denied them access to the Healer. Have you ever wondered why they did not turn around and leave; saying maybe next time? I also consider the thinking they put into it, they saw an obstacle, they thought about a way around it –through the roof; and they made the effort to remove the roof! All of this tells me that there must be something about the paralytic that inspired them to want his change to come so badly! I imagine that the paralytic was a funny guy; that he was paralyzed and maybe these four men were the people who carried him in and out of home everyday to the place where he begged for alms. I imagine that he must not have pitied himself but maybe he still asked them about their families, teased another about the damsel he liked… I imagine that he was amiable and pleasant; and I imagine this because there is an extent people will go out of pity (carry you on your mat), an extent people will go out of duty (carry you to the place where the healer is) and there is an extent people will go out of love- they will see the obstacles, surmount them and get you the end which you could not have gotten by yourself. And because love begets love the only way you can get people to go the extra mile for you is to sow love in their lives as well.
This story also encourages me when I am going through trials, it reminds me that anytime you pursue a promise of God, you can expect to meet opposition; and the more the opposition is, the closer you are to the promise. The Bible says that we will not be faced with any trial that is uncommon to man and that for every trial, we will be given a means of escape (1st Corinthians 10:13); some trials are conquered just by speaking the Word, some by prayer and fasting; but others are only conquered by taking the roof off! Applying practical strategy to a problem; thinking outside the box and being willing to do what others would consider unusual and probably ridicule you for! Until you succeed, that is.
The paralytic exemplifies to me the completeness of the gift of salvation. That the Lord does not just invite us to know Him thereby changing us from sinners to sons (positional change) but He also wants us “to have life and have it more abundantly” (situational change). The best part of this story for me is in Mark 2:11-12, where Jesus says to him “Arise, take up your bed and go to your house”! You know why? Because when he was leaving, he was carrying what had carried him before! That is our posture! That even when we have problems in our health, finances, marriage, we are able to bring them to Christ and what seemed like it would destroy us, we surmount! We rise above situations so that our lives glorify the name of God.
Unlock your favour today; make it a point of duty to treat the people around you with kindness and grace; influence them into the fullness of who they are because without the right people, no one can achieve much. God rules on earth through men, Jesus had disciples; the disciples taught others who spread the message… Bring your issues to God and when it seems like the journey towards Him is at the toughest, don’t despair but persevere. For in His presence, you will get wholeness (forgiven sins) and you will come out on top of that situation that has left you paralyzed for longer than it should! Finally, take action and do as He instructs.