Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 210/260: The Paralyzed Man’s Friends

Read Luke 5:17-26; Mark 2:1-12

Can Jesus See Your Faith?

After calling the fishermen to follow Him, Jesus began displaying the power of God through signs of healing. Peter’s mother-in-law was healed; He cast demons out of several individuals; even a leper was cleansed of his wretched disease. The report of His deeds spread rapidly, and He was soon surrounded by those who wanted to hear what He had to say and watch what He could do.

In Capernaum, such a large crowd gathered in a house where Jesus was teaching that “there was no longer room to receive (the crowd), not even near the door” (Mark 2:2). Four men carried a paralyzed friend on a bed to the house, desperate to request Jesus’ help to heal his condition, but they couldn’t make their way through the throng.

What did they do? Did they give up? Did they think, “Well, we tried, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be”? No! They were focused on getting in to see this Man who could do miraculous things, confident that He could cure their friend. In his seminal work The Four-Fold Gospel, J.W. McGarvey remarked, “To these four who sought Jesus it seemed a case of now or never. If they waited till another season, Jesus might withdraw himself again for ‘some days,’ or the palsied man might die. ‘Now’ is always the day of salvation.”

The men climbed up on the roof, took it apart—which was no easy task—and lowered the paralyzed man down to where Jesus was inside the house. The inspired record then says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (Mark 2:5). Did you notice that? Jesus saw their faith. How? By their actions.

Isn’t this what James says? “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14). The obvious answer is negative. Saying that you believe something without acting upon that belief cannot save you!

The concept of “faith only salvation” is not a “wholesome doctrine” as many denominations teach. Rather, it is a doctrine full of some holes! “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Can Jesus see your faith?

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