Friday 15 January 2021

Dropped into his presence

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he turned to the paralytic – ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’ (Mark 2: 1-12)

Reflect

We just don’t know what was going through the mind of the man on the stretcher. Was he in control of proceedings? Or were decisions being made for him by his four friends? Was it his desire or theirs for him to be brought before Jesus to request healing? We are told, however, that Jesus saw ‘their’ faith.’ This was a team effort, a corporate desire for this man to be healed. He needed his friends, just as they needed him, and wanted him to be well, and so with faith they present him to Christ. We, too, at times will bring people to Jesus for healing – not lowered through a hole in the roof or carried upon a stretcher but upon our hearts as we pray for them. There is much that we can and should bring to God in prayer. We may not be able to predict the outcome but we can be sure that, dropped into his presence, they and we and all will be well.

Prayer

Lord God, give us that assurance of faith and the trust in you that we need, as we pray for all who are in need of your healing and forgiveness, as we place them in the presence of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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