The word was out on the street, Jesus has returned “home”. Home or at least the place he stayed when in Capernaum. His ministry was growing in popularity, His power was being displayed and the needs around Him were pressing in on Him. It was the heady days of rock stars, heroes and celebrity. Jesus moved around to introduce this Messianic tour to as many as He could.
In the crowd gathered in and around the house that day were religious leaders and scholars, not seeking Jesus but in the way of those who were. Then came a moment of desperate faith. Unable to get into the presence of Jesus, a group of men began to break through the roof of the home and lower a paralyzed man before Jesus.
It was startling for the home owner, irritating to the crowd that we hearing him teach and watching him heal, selfish for those who were next in line and indiscriminate for the home owner as his personal property was vandalized. Yet to Jesus it was a thing of passionate and sloppy faith.
They lowered him so that Jesus could make him walk; Jesus wanted him to live so He forgave him of his sins. The crowd buzzed, some excitedly and others resentfully. Knowing their thoughts, He challenged their disbelief. If one can heal paralysis as the prophets predicted, then couldn’t that same Messiah forgive sins? The answer was clear. So He made the man walk and made His greater point.
What is the message about God?
God has limited himself to the level of our faith. He demonstrates through Jesus what He is willing and able to do for us, as we trust Him. He can do all things He chooses to respond to our faith. The writer of Hebrews says, Heb. 11:6 “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.”
This moment in the ministry of Jesus demonstrates the life that can be renewed when we live by desperate faith. As you read the gospels spend a few moments relishing the times when Jesus was moved by faith and how He responded.
What is the message about myself?
I have read of incidents where people in a moment of adrenaline and passion have lifted cars off of a trapped accident victim, a mother valiantly acting on behalf of her child to ward off an attacking animal or someone demonstrating ridiculous levels of endurance to survive a calamity. I am challenged by the reckless faith of so many that desire Jesus above all else and showed that by being single-minded in their pursuit. I don’t believe we have to be crazed, obsessed or tearing down walls every moment of our lives to follow Jesus, but I am challenged by a desire to know the desperate need of Jesus. I need to get beyond my sin being the only need to be able to walk after Him. He is the light, the life, the hope and the healing for each and every day.
What is the message about our world?
Passion inspires people. Not fake passion that comes and goes as the spotlight rises and dims, but real sustained love and passion for something. It makes the Olympic athlete strive for years to be the best, to fight the fight, to win the race. The sacrifices of time, pleasure and energy to accomplish something that they have set their hearts on is what price they pay. Jesus demonstrated that for each of us by denying himself the pleasures and completeness of heaven to come to lead us back to God. Phil. 2:6-7 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. The world is looking for a life that is being led by a living relationship with Jesus. A life that manifests a desire and willingness to take up a cross and die is what faith looks like. Talk is cheap, living faith is not.
This blog was written by Mark Christian, Senior Minister at Christ’s Church of Oronogo