Mark, in the second chapter of his gospel, describes another healing which Jesus performed in his home town of Capernaum. Word had spread of his power and the house was packed to capacity.
What did Jesus do with this stirred up crowd. He ‘preached the word to them.’ What was their greatest need? The gospel message, the ‘good news’ of the kingdom, which Jesus had come to bring.
In the midst of the preaching service, dust drifted down over the congregation. Overhead noises soon were accompanied by a digging sound and soon a mat was being lowered with a paralyzed man lying on it. These determined ‘friends’ had faith in Jesus and this faith was soon to be rewarded.
Jesus saw ‘their’ faith. To whom does Mark refer? To the four or five, including the paralytic who sensed a confidence that the touch of Jesus would change everything.
How does our faith impact others? Individually, we must respond to Jesus Christ, and yet each of us has influence.
We pray, because we have faith that God answers prayer. We witness, because we have faith that Jesus Christ welcomes sinners. We engage with needy people, because we want others to experience the difference God has made in our lives.
‘Their’ faith was an active faith. Their confidence in Jesus led them to action. ‘Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.’ Nothing could deter the insistence of this group. They had to get to Jesus, no ifs, ands or buts. They couldn’t heal this paralytic but Jesus could. They couldn’t make a difference, or could they?
We become the connection point between God and people. We claim to know God. We claim to have a relationship with him and we have a relationship with others. How can we get Him to them? How may we rightly represent Him through our words and actions? How may we get them to Him? What seeds may we plant, which if God causes them to grow, will result in life-changing transformation?
As Jesus looks at our actions today, He sees our faith–or lack of it. May our growing confidence in him result in impactful change in the lives of those for whom we are burdened. What did Jesus say to his early followers? ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.’ Here’s to a day of light-shining for the One who is the Light of the world!