Sunday, March 8, 2015

Faith In Action

When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Mark 2:5

On the communion table in front of the pulpit at our church is a little church with a slot in the top, originally for offerings. We use it to put in names for prayer. It reminds me of the Jews who stick their prayer requests in wall in Jerusalem. Hopefully that little church bank reminds us to bring those names before Jesus in prayer.

Four men carried a paralyzed friend on a mat to Jesus. Because of the crowd, they could not even get the friend through the door. So up on the roof top, they removed some of the tiles and let their paralyzed friend down where Jesus was teaching. Jesus, knowing the faith of all five men, declared that the paralyzed man’s sins were forgiven him. The scribes who were watching all this take place thought Jesus blasphemed by claiming to forgive sins, since God is the only one who can forgive sins. They did not have faith to believe Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus went a step farther. He asked the question whether it is easier to forgive sins or tell a person to get up and walk. Then he told the paralyzed man to get up, take his bed and go home. Immediately the man obeyed, walking out through the crowd with his folded mat. Wow! What a scene to witness! The people all declared they had never seen anything like that before.

I’m wondering what the five men had tried to do for their friend before they brought him to Jesus. Had they taken him to warm mineral spas? Had they massaged his legs? Had they tried to stand him up and help him walk to strengthen his legs? Had they taken him to their religious leaders? Regardless of the things they tried, their faith in Jesus was the only thing that worked.

Do we have friends and family that are paralyzed by sin? What have we tried? Talking to them, trying to convince them to change? Taking them to rehab? Talking them into going to church? But have we really done the only thing that matters? Have we urgently taken them to Jesus in prayer? Yes, ultimately it is our friends and family who have to desire Jesus’ forgiveness, but our prayers are part of the process too. Let us fall on our knees before God for our families and friends, our churches and communities, our nation and our world that Jesus would be moved to forgive us and heal us of all our sin. By the way, the wall in Jerusalem where the prayer requests are placed is called the Wailing Wall.

Are there prayer requests you would like to share? Has God answered your prayers? Would you like to give praise for God's goodness to you? Why not use the comment space to share?

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