Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

header photo

Service and Sacrifice - Mark 2:1-12

When we last saw Jesus, we saw the deep, visceral compassion Jesus had for a leper who came to him for help – someone no one else wanted to help.

After Jesus had spent some time out in the countryside, He once again returned to Capernaum. The news of His arrival did not take long. Soon the house He was staying in was filled to capacity inside, and then the courtyard became standing room only.

Everyone wanted to be near Jesus. Everyone wanted to hear Him speak of the heavenly Father and heaven itself. Everyone wanted a touch of healing. Everyone pressed as close as they could.

Normally, this would be a good thing – a large gathering of people eager to hear the Word taught. However, in their own eagerness to be near Jesus, the crowd inadvertently created a barrier that kept others from getting in.

Others like the paralytic who sought, and received, healing from Jesus.

The majority of the time when this passage is written about, taught, or preached on, the focus of the message is on the need of the paralytic, the compassion of Jesus, and how Jesus met both this man’s spiritual and physical needs. These are all true, and they are all comforting and inspiring.

However, today I want to take the few minutes we have together to focus on the four friends in this story.

1) The four friends brought the paralytic to Jesus

“Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.” (Mark 2:3)

It may seem obvious, but the paralytic could not get to Jesus on his own. The Bible doesn’t tell us whether the paralytic asked his friends to take him to Jesus or if the friends arrived at the house and picked him up and took him. Whether the idea was the paralytic’s or not, if his friends had not taken the time out of their busy schedules and brought the paralytic to Jesus, the paralytic would not have made it there.

Are there people in your sphere of influence today who need something in their lives, but they don’t know what it is, something you know that would be addressed if they met Jesus? Are there people in your sphere who are longing to meet Jesus, but they don’t know to get started? You may have to carve out time in your busy schedule, but perhaps you are just the friend to guide them to Jesus. Pray and ask God to show you those around you are ready to be taken to Jesus, and then do it.

2) The four friends met obstacles

“And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd.” (Mark 2:4a)

The four friends picked up the paralytic and headed toward the house where Jesus was staying. Perhaps they were so busy practicing what they would say to Jesus when they saw Him that they didn’t notice the street getting more crowded with people the closer they got to the house. At any rate, they did notice when they came to a complete stop and couldn’t go any farther.

I’m sure at first they tried to squeeze through the crowd. But the crowd wouldn’t budge. Remember, everyone wanted to see Jesus themselves. No one would give way.

Perhaps they walked all around the courtyard on the outside edge of the crowd looking for any way into the house to see Jesus, all to no avail. There was no way into the house.

When you start asking God to show you who around you are ready to meet Jesus, be sure that you will encounter obstacles. The enemy of souls is not at all pleased when it looks like subjects of his kingdom will defect to God’s kingdom. If you join God in this work thinking that all will be rosy and sunshiney, complete with bunnies and rainbows, you will be gravely disappointed. You need to be prepared mentally and spiritually for the obstacles you will meet.

3) The four friends pushed forward and overcame the obstacles

“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.” (Mark 2:4)

At any point, the four friends could have stopped, turned around, and taken the paralytic home, concluding that there was no way to get to Jesus. They could have stopped as soon as they saw the large crowd. They could have stopped when they tried to squeeze into the house. They could have stopped when they walked around the courtyard and saw no way in.

But, praise God, they didn’t!

Today we would say that they thought outside of the box. Perhaps while standing in the courtyard after walking the perimeter, one of the friends mentioned the stairs he had seen leading to the roof. Another one jumped off that idea and suggested that they break through the roof tiles and lower the paralytic through. How hard could it be? he asked.

Back to the side of the house with the stairs they went, slowly climbing in order to not bump the paralytic too badly. Once on the roof, they set the paralytic down and got to work. One tile at a time was removed until the hole was big enough to lower the stretcher through. They didn’t stop working until the paralytic was gently on the floor at Jesus’ feet. They had connected the paralytic with Jesus. Mission accomplished.

When we meet obstacles in bringing people to Jesus, we, too, need to pray and think outside the box. We need to be willing and prepared to be creative in making connections between the people who need Jesus and Jesus Himself. We need to be just as committed to this task as the four friends were and not give up or stop until the person we are leading to Jesus is brought face to face with Him.

4) The four friends had the faith in Jesus

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’” (Mark 2:5)

Perhaps on the way to the house, the paralytic began to have doubts. Perhaps the initial excitement at seeing Jesus began to fade. Perhaps the paralytic had been sick for too long and started to believe the lies that were shooting into this mind that he wasn’t good enough for Jesus to heal.

The Scripture is clear, though. Jesus saw the faith of the four friends and honored that faith. Because of the faith of the four friends, the paralytic was healed.

How important is it, then, that WE do not give up our faith in Jesus on behalf of those whom we are bringing to Him? Will we, like the four friends, never waver in our faith? Will we not let anything stop us from finishing the work we start as we lead people to Jesus?

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’” (Luke 9:23-24)

If you would like to help place God's Word in prison cells so inmates can connect with the life-transforming power of Jesus, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

Go Back