November 8, 2010

Nameless But Notable XIV: Collaborative & Ingenuitive Faith

"And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men." Matthew 9:1-8

"It can't be done!"
Ever hear this before? At work? At home?
"Trust me, I'm an expert, it can't be done!"

It's a defeatist attitude.

What compelled these men to carry this paralytic to Jesus? Compelled...they came together lugging this poor invalid. Compelled...they were sure Jesus could heal this man. Their faith compelled them. The power of Christ compelled them. Having reached the home they realized the entrance is blocked, yet they are further compelled. So what do they do? Wait their turn? No way!

When you hit what seems like an impenetrable obstacle/wall moments from your destination do you:

(a) Stand outside the door and whine?
(b) Throw your arms up in the air and complain?
(c) Stare at the sky any murmur under your breath?
(c) Complete the journey through all means available to you?

These men along with the paralytic pursue Option/Plan "D" which consisted of climbing up on the house and ventilating the roof. Please understand I am scripting this for dramatic effect...

Man #1: "Dude, the door is blocked! Some hypocritical Pharisee is in the way!"
Man #2: "Aww man! All I see is the back of people's heads."
Man #3: "Hey, why don't we climb on the roof and poke a hole in it, then drop him down right in front of Jesus?"
Paralytic: "Poke a hole in whaaa? and drop me where?!?!"
Man #1, 2 & 4: "Right! Great idea! Brilliant! Brilliant!"
All (including paralytic): "Excuse us, look out below, paralyzed man coming through!"

...and then this paralytic just about ends up on Jesus' lap.

"Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."

So what are some of the things we learn here? Do we learn that paralytics are way too trusting of their friends? Do we learn that a paralytic's friends are impatient and somewhat impulsive? Perhaps. More than likely we see that a fellowships of believers can often get things done that are difficult or impossible for individual believers. More than likely Jesus had a real good sense of humor and so did the owners of the home that now had a skylight in their roof (literally). The power of Christ and His attraction to the faithful is undeniable.

Inspired by a mixture of tenacity, ingenuity, skill and dogged will, men can surmount what seems to impossible odds when given the will and desire to pursue Jesus Christ. The power of the Spirit will not be denied. As believers the power of Christ compels us to levels of holiness and righteousness we didn't know we were capable of. With Christ working in our lives we overcome all earthly obstacles, even suffering and death.

Jesus tells the man, "Rise, pick up your bed and go home."

What one faithful man was unable to accomplish alone, was made easy by many faithful men working in unity. A unity forged as all involved believed the same thing. A single purpose, a single goal. Jesus can heal and remove man's sins. Not only did they bear witness to it but so did the entire crowd...all of the bystanders. They were awed by His power.

"It can be done?"

Yes it can.

"If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

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