A Paralytic Healed: Part 1
Mark exposes the evil of their hearts with a vivid contrast between them and the friends of the paralyzed man in the account beginning at verse 3. Notice that neither the Pharisees nor the paralytic and his friends spoke a word to Jesus. But Jesus knew what was in their hearts.
The paralytic’s friends were unable to get to Jesus; there were too many people blocking their path. But these men did not give up because of the difficulties; they did not say, “Well, after all, boys, we can’t do anything else. There’s no use trying to get by that crowd.” These men were not cowards. A coward will say, “We cannot,” but faith says, “We must!” They developed what Maclaren calls a “sanctifying ingenuity” (The Gospel of St. Mark, p. 50) to overcome the difficulties.
We all have a tremendous obligation to bring our needy loved ones into the presence of Jesus. There are difficulties, to be sure, but what is the purpose of difficulties? To test our faith and thereby increase it. When we see barriers, as these men did, we should not say, “Evidently this is not the Lord’s will.” We must reject the pietistic, mystical way of folding our hands and saying, “Well, the Holy Spirit knows what He’s doing.” The Holy Spirit expects us to get up and go!
- What obligation do we have to our loved ones? Why is this our obligation?
- What does it mean that “The Holy Spirit expects us to get up and go”?
- How did Jesus expose the Pharisees hearts?