Text: Mark 2:1-5
Faith has to be accompanied by actions. “Show me your faith without actions, and I’ll show you my faith through actions.” (James 2:18). The text from Mark is the story of how four friends brought their paralytic friend to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and for Jesus to heal their friend. We can see faith being put to action by the four friends.
Faith overcomes disappointments. From Mark 2:2, we know that on that day so many people gathered to listen to Jesus teach. And there was no room left, not even outside the door. This large gathering would be a good enough reason for the four friends to turn back or at least wait outside and hope for Jesus to take notice of their paralytic friend. But such disappointment did not deter their faith. They pressed on, determined to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus.
Faith does the unexpected. Not allowing disappointments to set them back, what the four friends did caught everyone by surprise. “Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus…” (Mark 2:4). Faith brought the four friends to do the unexpected. Their action of faith is special. They decided to go against the ‘normal way’ of entering into a house. They would not take into consideration what others will think of their oddness. They decided to bring their paralytic friend to the top of the roof and enter him from the top.
Faith needs time and perseverance to succeed. In verse 4, it was mentioned that after they were on the top of the roof, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and started digging through it. Now this is not an easy process, neither is it a fast one. Making an opening and digging through it till it is big enough to lower their friend down definitely takes time and effort. By holding on to the hope and not giving up, they persevered on and their faith eventually succeeded. Their friend met Jesus, was forgiven and healed.
The four friends not only believed that Jesus could heal their paralytic friend; they put that faith into action by bringing that paralytic friend to experience Christ. And sometimes putting our faith into action will demand us to overcome disappointments, do the unexpected and to persevere through prayer. What faith based actions are we willing to take, to bring our friends to Jesus?
Brother Samuel Lim