Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Power of the Word - Part 20

The pounding on the door woke him up. Even though it was mid-day, he had been sleeping. Try as he might, he found himself sleeping more and more, not so much because he was tired, but because he just couldn’t face his reality any more. He prayed to Yahweh the Creator to please let him die. He knew that his prayers were not in accordance with his faith, but he had very little faith left anymore, so what did it matter, really?

The persistent pounding had stopped. His wife must have opened the door. It wasn’t long before his four faithful friends jumbled into his sleeping chamber all chattering at once.

He shouted, “One at a time please!” His friends stopped in mid-sentence and stared at him. He looked from one face to the other both being annoyed at their presence and grateful for their friendship over these many years of sickness and hardship.

His oldest friend stepped forward, sat on his bed, and took his hand. He knew that his friend was holding his hand because he watched him do it. He wished, however, he could actually feel it. He wished he could feel anything. He had been imprisoned in his paralyzed body for more years than he could count. He had become so isolated from his former life.

He wasn’t able to work. His wife was forced to become a seamstress to put food on the table. His social network dwindled down to these four precious friends. He couldn’t remember the last time he had entered the synagogue and worshipped with his community. The church leaders wouldn’t even set foot in his house claiming that he must have sinned greatly for such a calamity to befall him. His soul had almost completely shriveled up under the weight of depression and condemnation. He was far from Yahweh, and there was nothing he could do about it. He used to be so alive. And now he was simply waiting to die.

He focused his attention back on his friend who was speaking.

“He’s back in town,” his friend said.

“Sorry, my mind wandered. Who is back in town?”

“Jesus. We know where He is staying, and we all want to take you to see Him, my friend. We have heard so many tales of how Jesus has healed even the most serious diseases. He’s even healed someone of leprosy. We know that He can heal you. Will you allow us to take you?”

He thought for a moment. He, too, had heard about Jesus. It was hard to live in Capernaum and not hear about Jesus. Miracles happened in Jesus’ presence. Jesus was a good and just rabbi. Why would Jesus treat him any differently than the church leaders at the synagogue had? It was obvious that he was a sinful man. Otherwise, why would God be punishing him so? He didn’t think for a moment that someone like Jesus would get near him, much less heal him. He was just about to say no, when he turned to look at his wife. She was standing in the doorway, her eyes pleading as tears bubbled out of them. He saw in that instant how hard these many years had been on her as well.

He turned back to his friend and nodded. The four friends went into immediate action. They fashioned a portable bed out blankets and two pieces of wood they found behind the house. They picked up the paralyzed man and gently laid him on the portable bed. His wife placed two pillows under his head and gently kissed his forehead. He was glad he could feel that.

As they lifted him off the floor, he closed his eyes. He was afraid to hope for himself because he didn’t want to be too crushed when Jesus refused to see him. He did hope, however, that his wife would be able to handle the disappointment that was surely to come.

The four men carrying the paralyzed man made their way through the streets of Capernaum to the house where Jesus was staying. They knew they were in the right place because of the large crowd of people making a natural barricade around the house. They walked all around the house looking for a way in. They couldn’t find one. They could hear Jesus’ voice through the windows. They were so close! They couldn’t give up now.

As they stood studying the house, one them had a brilliant idea. They went to work.

“And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.” (Luke 5:19)

The paralyzed man could not believe that his friends were taking the roof of the house apart so that they could lower him down into the house. There was absolutely nothing he could do about it. As he inched lower and lower through the opening they made in the tile roof, he could hear the chatter of voices stop. Although he couldn’t see them, he knew that all eyes in the room were on him. He prayed that if Yahweh was ever going to let him die, now would be a good time!

He could hear the shuffle of feet as he neared the floor. He guessed people were making way for him. Finally, his descent stopped. He was on the floor, and he guessed that the feet he was looking at belonged to Jesus.

The silence in the room lengthened. He took a deep breath and moved his head enough so that he could look up into Jesus’ face. He was expecting the angry, disgusted look he usually received from church leaders. He was not prepared for what he saw. His breath caught. He saw the kindest eyes and the gentlest smile he had ever seen. The look of love emanating from Jesus’ face caused tears to run down his cheeks. He was so glad he had said yes to his friends.

“When [Jesus] saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’” (Luke 5:20)

He was forgiven! A peace he had never known filled his soul. He stared at Jesus’ face drinking it in. He wanted to remember that face forever. He knew that his relationship with Yahweh was restored. It was enough.

The peace was soon shattered.

“And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:21)

Panic filled the paralyzed man’s heart. He looked from the church leaders to Jesus and back again. Did he imagine it all? Was he not forgiven?

“But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Rise up and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’” (Luke 5:22-24)

Jesus had just told him to do the impossible – to get up and walk. Crazy! But the look of power and encouragement in Jesus’ eyes told him it wasn’t crazy. It was possible.

“Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” (Luke 5:25)

As he ran down the street, the formerly paralyzed man remembered his friends. He could catch up with them later. First, he had to go home and hug his wife. He so looked forward to feeling that hug. There would be thanksgiving in his home tonight! And tomorrow, he would be in the synagogue worshipping Yahweh.

A despondent and helpless man came face to face with the Word of God. In the midst of hopeless circumstances and rejected by church leaders, this man laid hold of the power of the Word and gained healing of body, mind, and spirit, as well as restoration of his relationship with God. We don’t know the end of this story. We don’t know how many people came to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior because of the testimony of this unnamed man. We’ll have to wait until eternity to hear the rest of the story.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need it so they can know the power of the Word that brings healing and restoration. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

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