Reading in Mark 2 this morning and encountered one of my favorite statements found in all three of the synoptic gospel accounts. Four simple, mono-syllable words, that never cease to inspire. Never cease to capture the bottom-line of what was a chaotic and complex event.
Jesus is back in Capernaum, and after a few days it gets around that He’s back in town. His fame has spread everywhere (Mk. 1:28). So much so, that He “could no longer openly enter a town” (Mk. 1:45). So when they find out Jesus was at home, they packed the house where He was staying. No room inside for anyone else to get in. No room around the house, either — you couldn’t even get near the front door (Mk. 1:2). Crowded and chaotic. So filled with people you wonder if the house would burst at the seams. Nope! But the roof would cave in.
Enter the fearsome five. Four able-bodied guys along their paralytic buddy who they carried on a cot. Five guys on a “Jesus or Bust” mission to get the one who needed healing before the Healer. And they were not to be denied. To rip off USPS, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night (nor packed-full house with no apparent access) stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
So if you can’t go in the front door, and you can’t go in the back door, and the windows are plugged up with people too, go in through the roof.
And when they could not get near [Jesus] 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.
(Mark 2:4 ESV)
Love trying to imagine what it must have been like to witness this over the top demonstration of determination. Crazy!
But then, that simple, mono-syllable statement . . .
And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
(Mark 2:5 ESV)
Jesus saw their faith. Chew on that for a bit.
I wonder if most often we don’t think of faith as an intangible. As something invisible. More sensed than seen. More perceived than presented. But Jesus saw their faith. The newly created skylight above Him, the dust of fallen roofing material settling around Him, the paralyzed guy lying flat on his back in front of Him. Jesus took it all in.
Did these guys believe Jesus could make a difference? Evidently. Was it tangible. Oh, yeah!
He saw their faith because He saw the evidence of their faith. He could see they trusted because of the track they took. He knew they believed because of how they behaved.
No packed rooms here at my place. Just me rattling around in this big house. Not fighting for access to Jesus, no need to break a door down or tear a roof open. Just aware of His promised presence. And thinking that, I too, want Jesus to see my faith. That my abiding will be manifest in my actions. That my resting, made evident in how I’m responding to being sheltered in place. That what we so often think of as being intangible and invisible, would be demonstrated through a pressing desire to be faithful, . . . despite the temptation to fear.
Jesus saw their faith. Yes He did!
Might He see ours this day as well.
By His grace. For His glory.