Visual Faith, Pastor Phil Sessa

Mark 2:1-5, “So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you can see a possibility of something happening in your favor, but the circumstances seemed to create an obstacle? For example you would go outside, but it’s raining. Five men found themselves in such a situation. Jesus was in town and was preaching, and multitudes no doubt flocked to him because they wanted to see him perform more miracles (like the healing of the leper). However, Jesus was preaching not working miracles inside the house. These men wanted to get their paralytic friend to Jesus.

The Expositors Bible Commentary states, “This typical Palestinian peasant’s house was a small, one-room structure with a flat roof. Access to the roof was by means of an outside stairway. The roof itselfwas usually made of wooden beams with thatch and compacted earth in order to shed the rain. Sometimes tiles were laid between the beams and the thatch and earth placed over them.”

The phrase that grabbed my heart was “When Jesus saw their faith…” How can one see faith anymore than one can see the wind? these four men teach us how Jesus can see our faith.

1. Some see opportunities where others see barriers, “Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof”. “Obstacles are those things we see when we take our eyes off our goal.” The goal here was to get the paralytic to Jesus. The front entrance was blocked so they went another way. They dug through the roof as an alternative means to meet their goal.

2. There is power in Combined faith “…they made an opening… Jesus saw their faith.” Whose faith teams up with your faith? When you are praying for someone, and carrying their needs to Jesus, who partners with you?

3. Faith can be visible. “Jesus saw their faith…” How can faith be seen? James reminds us “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action (deeds), is dead… Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Faith without works is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine. When the four men dug up the compacted thatch and earth (no doubt dirt showered down on those inside the house below) the dirt probably fell upon Jesus. Jesus looked up and saw the digging (action) to substantiate their faith (trying to get their friend to Jesus).

See the opportunities through the eyes of faith. Combine your faith with others. Show Jesus your faith is real and that your actions will appropriate your faith in Him, the object of faith.

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil ;<;

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