Seeing Their Believing

There’s no record that any of them said anything. What they did conveyed what they were seeking. Their actions spoke louder than any words. And those who were present that day were seeing their believing.

Jesus was back in Capernaum. And as the word got out that He was home, the house where He was staying started filling up. He was preaching the word and the people were filling the place. So many had come to hear Him teach that the place was packed. So many gathered that they were “jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out” (MSG).

But there were five who had arrived late to the party and were not about to be denied. Four of them could walk, their buddy couldn’t. Four of them carried a bed, their buddy lay on it. And all of them knew they needed to see Jesus.

Whenever I read Mark 2 I try and imagine the scene as the four started removing tile and other material from the roof above Jesus. I’m thinking that they intended to lower the paralytic’s bed down horizontally and so it was no small hole they were creating. Talk about an interruption. One moment Jesus is figuratively lifting off the ceiling as He preaches the written word of God and the next, the ceiling is literally being lifted off as five desperate men seek an encounter with the living Word of God. And all eyes are drawn to the commotion above Jesus and the focus is clearly on the one who’s laying on the bed being lowered to floor in front of Jesus.

Everyone in that house, including Jesus, was seeing their believing.

And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

(Mark 2:4-5 ESV)

Jesus saw their faith. He witnessed the conviction of the paralytic’s four buddies. He observed the firm opinion of the man who lay helplessly on the bed. Without a word being spoken they demonstrated that they believed Jesus was sent of God and had power to heal brokenness. The torn up roof tiles evidenced their heartfelt confidence that He who had released others from their bondage would be willing to set free this man confined to his back. The spectacle they made of themselves was due to the surety they placed in the Savior.

And seeing their belief, Jesus said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

Not forgiven because of the paralytic’s works or the extraordinary effort of his friends. But forgiven because of what lay behind their actions. They removed the roof because they believed that Jesus was who He claimed to be. They tore up the tiles and rained debris down on the crowd because they believed that Jesus could do what He claimed to be able to do. They interrupted the meeting because they believed that Jesus was bringing about the kingdom He said He had come to bring about.

Sometimes what we say we believe needs to be manifest in what we’re willing to do. Not that we do so to demand His favor, but we do so in order to demonstrate our faith.

Faith born of His abundant grace. Faith for His eternal glory.

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