Monday, April 14, 2008

Conflict/Four Friends Who Care

Mark 2:3-7

Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by the 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 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?

What can I expect to experience when I respond positively to Jesus call to discipleship?

The discipleship to which Jesus calles people is an exacting way of life that can be lived on His presence and strength.


Nothing draws a crowd like a celebrity. Jesus had already become something of a celebrity. When He entered a home in Capernaum, a crowd followed Him. They packed in so tightly to see and hear Him that the doorway was blocked.

Into this throng came a group carrying a paralytic, or paralyzed man. The Bible doesn’t say why he was paralyzed or how many people came with him, and four of them carried him. This wording seems more than four men came with him. Though suffered physically, this man was blessed in other ways because he had a group of friends who cared enough to carry him to Jesus. They were even creative enough to figure out way to reach Jesus –through the roof.

Roofs in homes of first century Palestine were made of hard mud and reeds on top of a system of supports. They probably reached the roof through outside stairway –also in those homes. The Bible doesn’t record the reaction of the homeowner to the destruction, but it does record Jesus’ response to their actions. Seeing their faith, He forgave the man his sins and got healed.

Friendship. Faith. Forgiveness. The crowd witnessed the results of Jesus’ ministry. He had called out the best in the human heart and met the deepest human need. Yet in the face of this miracle the teachers of the law inwardly criticized and complained. Instead of rejoicing in a sinner’s forgiveness and marveling at such friendship and faith, they heckled Jesus.

Jesus was aware of what was going on around Him and who was watching Him। Mark 2:1-3:6 points out the growing conflict between Jesus and His opponents. But Jesus refused to compromise His ministry because of who was watching or criticizing. Today his disciples are called to the same hard, exciting path. ●

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