Mark 2 Lesson

Hope, Faith, And The Example Of The Paralytic Man

Hope and faithare two of the most important themes in the Bible. 

Today’s lesson will look at both of these Christian characteristics, including the example of the paralytic man whose hope and faith impressed Jesus and allowed him to be healed.


The word “hope” appears one hundred thirty times in the NASB translation of the Bible. (source: Blue Letter Bible

Hope is an important part of God's plan for us, and necessary if we are going to persevere through whatever adversity comes our way! 

Consider the following four verses:

  1. "We also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit." - Romans 5:3-5,
  2. “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” - Romans 8:24-25,
  3. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give youhopeand a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11,
  4. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13.

These verses teach us three things:

  1. “Hope does not disappoint,”
  2. “In hope, we have been saved,”
  3. God has a plan to give us a future and hope.

The world can be a dark and dangerous place.

That is because Satan is constantly looking for ways to tempt us and throw us off course.

In Peter’s first epistle, he wrote the following warning:

  • “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8.

It is the hope that we have in Jesus that allows us to survive the tough times and chart a new course for our lives; one that leads to salvation, not condemnation.  

If we allow ourselves to be led by hope and not fear, good things will happen!


Faith plays a critical role in our salvation. 

Therefore, it is imperative that we understand what faith means. 

As always, our source for better understanding is the Bible!

Listed below are five verses all dealing with the subject of faith:

  1. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” - Hebrews 11:6,
  2. “Faith is the assurance of thingshoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1,
  3. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9,
  4. “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” - Galatians 2:16,
  5. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” - 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Faith is necessary for salvation.

The scriptures tell us that.  

But do we understand how to obtain it?

Is it something we are born with, or is it something that we can actively seek and acquire?

The answer is found in the following scripture:

  • “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

What the Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, is that reading the Bible will increase our faith. 

In other words, the more we read it, the stronger our faith will become.

Even Jesus studied scripture!

He would often go to a quiet place to pray and study.

If Jesus believed this was important to do, so should we!

You may be asking yourself, “If God can do anything, how come He has not answered a particular prayer?”

There are two things to consider here:

  1. Just because God has not answered our prayer yet, it does not mean that He will never answer it. God does things on His timeframe, not ours,
  2. We need to ask ourselves if our motives are pure.  Are we asking God for something to satisfy our own desires or ambitions, or are we asking with the heart of a servant?  As Christians, we are to glorify God and serve others in everything that we do.  When we go to God in prayer, we need to ensure that our motives are pure. 

The Hebrew writer tells us that God rewards those that seek Him and is pleased when we put our faith in Him.

  • “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” - Hebrews 11:6.

Having faith in Jesus is a requirement to enter Heaven

It is a matter of salvation

Therefore, it is in our best interest to work on our faith by studying God’s word (Romans 10:17).


In Mark Chapter 2, we see a powerful example of hope and faith as a paralytic man is lowered down through the roof of Jesus’ home in the hopes that Jesus would heal him.  

Jesus had been speaking to a large crowd of people that had gathered inside His home.   The crowd was so large that it was blocking the entranceway to His home.

The  paralytic man was among the many people who came to see Jesus that day.  

Mark described the event in his Gospel as follows:

  • “Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.” – Mark 2:4.

There are many teachable moments in this story. One of which is to never let what we cannot do stop us from doing what we can do.

Although this man could not walk, he believed that Jesus could heal him and asked his friend to take him to Jesus.

As they approached the home of Jesus, the large crowd prevented them from entering through the front door.     

For many people, that would be the end of the story, but not for this man!

Instead of giving up, he persevered! 

The paralytic man and the four men carrying him had faith in Jesus, and their faith allowed Jesus to work in their lives in a miraculous way!

It is inspiring to see how faith worked in the lives of these five people.

More importantly, their story shows us the power of putting our faith into action!

When we put our faith in Jesus, and then act on our faith, remarkable things will happen!

Conversely, if we say we have faith, but never act on it, the Bible teaches us that this type of faith is useless to God. James called it “dead” in the following scripture:

  • “Faith without works is dead, being alone.” - James 2:17.

The story of the paralytic man teaches us three things:

  1. The importance of hope,
  2. The importance of acting on our faith,
  3. The importance of perseverance when things do not go the way that we had hoped or planned for.

The paralytic man, along with those who carried him, refused to give up on their belief that Jesus could heal him.  

When the door literally closed on their efforts, they persevered and found another way!

They removed the roof; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

Throughout our lives, Satan will put obstacles in our way to try and hinder our faith. 

When that happens, we can either give up, or we can be like the paralytic man and persevere through adversity.


When it comes to our faith, we cannot give up, or allow obstacles to block us.

The consequences are simply too great for us to do that!

The paralytic man did not give up when things did not appear to be going his way. 

Instead, he remained faithful and found another way.  

It is important to note how the paralytic man did not do it alone.   He needed friends to help him.

So do we!

Being a Christian is not about going it alone. It is about helping others and letting others help us.

We all need this type of support and encouragement if we are going to persevere until the end.

It is our faith and hope in Jesus that allows us to persevere in a lost and often cruel world. 

We will end today's lesson with the following scripture from the book of Hebrews:

  • “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:3-6.


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Thank you!

Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?



Good subject! It's so important for us to remember that there is evidence in God's Word for the things of God; when we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7), it means that we must believe what we read and know that God says for His faithful children that everything will be alright.

Pat Dermody

Faith along with Hope help us too manage those difficult times in life . Faith is trust in God and hope is the energy that keeps us going through the darkness until we see the light at the end and are able to “walk”.