Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Part 1)
Mark 2:1-12 reads - "And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you.' And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?' But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His Spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, 'Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'--He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.' Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, 'We never saw anything like this!'"

When we studied the end of Mark 1, we noted that the healing of a particular leper created such excitement for some time--perhaps several weeks--that Jesus stayed out of the cities (cf. 1:45). However, after the excitement had subsided somewhat, Jesus quietly entered Capernaum and was "in the house" (2:1; probably Simon Peter's - cf. 1:21,29). This marks the end of His first evangelistic journey through Galilee (cf. 1:39).

Word spread quickly as to where Jesus was (2:2). People crowded into the house until it was full. They were pressed so tightly around the door that it became impossible to approach it. Jesus used this opportunity to preach "the word to them."

According to 2:3, a paralyzed man was being carried on a bed by four men. Their goal was to bring their friend to Jesus for physical healing. May all disciples today labor to bring their friends to Jesus for spiritual healing!

Unfortunately, the great crowd prevented them from getting near to Jesus through the regular entrance of the house, but that didn't cause them to abandon their goal! They were able to gain access to the roof (perhaps from a neighbor's roof), and they proceeded to make a hole in the tile roof large enough to lower their friend down to Jesus (cf. Luke 5:19).

Truly, these men demonstrated by their actions that their faith was strong! If they didn't genuinely believe that Jesus could (and would) heal the paralytic, they would have never gone to so much trouble. They did not allow any obstacle to hinder them--the crowd, getting access to the roof, or the possible displeasure of the house's owner. To these men, it was a case of now or never. If they waited for another time, Jesus might leave the region or the paralytic might die. "Now" was their time (cf. II Cor. 6:2)! Nothing would stop them! Friends, we need this kind of faith and determination! Too many people today make all kinds of excuses for not coming to the Lord for spiritual healing or for not bringing others to Him. The Savior's call is still extended today. He wants us to come to Him and bring others too (Matt. 11:28-30; Mark 16:15,16).

We will continue studying this narrative tomorrow.