Mark 2 Lesson

Hope and faith

The second chapter of Mark’s Gospel shares with us a powerful example of hope and faith. The setting is the home of Jesus, where Jesus is speaking the Word to a large crowd of people that have gathered inside His home.  The crowd was so large that it was blocking the entranceway to the house. 

A paralytic man was among the many people who came to see Jesus that day. He was being carried by four men and came to see Jesus to see if he could be healed.

Mark writes:

“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.

The hope and faith that this man had in Jesus is an example that we all can learn from. Although this man could not walk, he believed that Jesus could heal him. As he approached the house, the crowd was so big that he could not go through the door.

For many people, that would be the end of the story. However, this man did not give up. Instead, he persevered.  He and the four men carrying him believed in Jesus, and their faith would allow Jesus to work in their lives in a miraculous way!

It is inspiring to see how faith worked in their lives. Not only did they have faith, but they also turned their faith into action!

James 2:17 says:

Faith without works is dead, being alone.”  If we do not act on our faith, we should not expect much to happen.

The story of the paralytic man teaches us to act on our faith and to persevere when things do not go according to plan. This 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.

The experience of being paralyzed, raised up, and lowered through a hole in the roof would scare a lot of us.  Try to visualize the scene that was taking place here. Is it possible that the paralytic man was smiling as they lowered him down through the hole in the roof?

That is a definite possibility because of the faith that the paralytic man had in Jesus, and because he had hope.   This man believed in Jesus, and Jesus knew his heart. Jesus says to the man:

“Your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5.

The scribes take issue with Jesus saying that He has forgiven the paralytic man’s sins. Jesus sensing the scribes’ concern responds:

“Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” – Mark 2:8-12.

The story of the paralytic man is a story of hope and faith in Jesus.

Jesus says to the man:

“I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” – Mark 2:11. 

The paralytic man immediately picked up the pallet and began walking. Seeing this, the people were amazed! They were glorifying God and saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

So, what is the takeaway from this story?

How can we apply what we have just studied to our own lives? 

The takeaway for us is this:

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

The paralytic man did not give up when things did not go as planned. Instead, he remained faithful and found another way. It is also important to take note how the paralytic man did not do it alone. He had others to help him find Jesus. We all need the support and encouragement of others.

If we keep believing, and keep seeking Jesus, we will find Him and He will lead us home.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following words spoken by Jesus:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Mathew 7:7-8.

Comments

Dan

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.

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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”.

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