Lenten Devotionals

Thursday, April 11th

Author: Gwen Boone
Verse: Mark 2:1-12
Jesus Heals a Paralytic

2:1 When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3 Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12 And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Throughout this week you have been reading passages about the way that Jesus cares for and heals individuals. In today's passage, we see the way that the communal nature of faith can support and call into question that healing. Because of the acts of the paralyzed man's friends, he was able to receive the grace he needed from Jesus in order to be healed. Often times we do what we can for our friends, but occasionally there will be problems that are bigger than us. 

Sometimes the best way to help our friends (or ourselves) is to help them bring their burdens to Jesus and to place all of the broken pieces at the feet of the one who can piece them back together. However, it is in our human nature to want to solve our problems on our own, and when that happens we become like the teachers and question the ability of faith to help us in our struggles. We in turn hold on to all of the things causing us pain and allow that mountainous burden to grow and grow because we refuse to believe that Jesus, God, or Church can help us shoulder the weight. But as this passage tells us, through faith our sins are forgiven and in that relationship we have with God, we do not have to carry the weight of our burdens alone for we are all children of a caring and healing God.
Healing and caring God, I ask that you are with us all as we go about the rest of our week and that you help us carry the weight of our burdens and that you give us the tools necessary to do the same for those in our lives. Please be with those who are struggling to make it in the building, that they will find an opening to place their hurt at your feet. Amen.
In what ways, or to what extent, do you see yourself helping those in your life to get the caring/healing they need?