Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 50, 19, 46; Genesis 39:1-23; 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15; Mark 2:1-12
Today’s Writer: Tim Shaughnessy
Many of us are familiar with the story of the paralytic and his four friends. These four friends were determined to see Jesus heal their non-walking companion. The determination of these four people was measured in their unwillingness to not allow the crowds surrounding Jesus, nor the physical building where Jesus was located to be a barrier to the progress of introducing their invalid friend to Jesus. The distance they would travel to carry their friend, the crowds they had to circumvent, and the building they would have to dismantle — were not enough to impede their faith.
To be sure all the barriers we have discussed were considerable. As I look at this passage, I believe the greatest obstacle these men faced was an inward barrier. That barrier is that of unbelief. Surely questions of unbelief had to circulate their minds. Questions like: How did they know they would have the strength and provision to carry their friend the distance to where ever Jesus was? There were already so many people who were trying to approach Jesus for healing, how could they know Jesus would be willing to heal their friend? Would others surrounding Jesus block their path to seeing Jesus? What if Jesus Himself was unwilling to have an audience with them? One must remember these men set out on their journey in which they could never be sure of the end result of their quest.
You and I journey into each day not knowing what might be its end result. We walk into important conversations, unpleasant conflicts, and challenging difficulties. For each of these we can never be sure of the outcome. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
These faithful men and their example teach me three things:
- It doesn’t matter what is happening in or around me, God exists.
- The correct response to my unbelief will always be to move closer to Jesus.
- When I approach God in faith He surprises me with how He is willing to bless me.
Thoughts to consider:
Do you have an ongoing issue that is testing your faith?
Are you tempted to believe God doesn’t really care?
Is God challenging you to bring this issue to Him this Lenten season?
Image by Luca Rossato (used by permission via Creative Commons)