I grew up going to church. Not only did I go to church, I practically lived at the church. My dad was (is) a pastor and, at least for a while, my mother ran the preschool at the church. We were always there. When you are raised a certain way from birth, you tend to accept things just because it’s all you’ve ever known. For me, some of those things were: prayer, Bible reading, salvation through Jesus, the virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and healing.
I never questioned these concepts and I never doubted them.
I still don’t.
Yes, there was a time that I strayed from my faith. I turned my back on what I believed. But, I never EVER quit believing. I was making a conscious decision to not live out my faith. (I do NOT recommend that course for anyone’s life…it was miserable).
I find, though, that the older I get, the more I learn from the Bible. Each year something that I’ve read or heard throughout my life suddenly has new meaning to me. You’ve heard of “Aha Moments”? That’s what I’m talking about.
So, I want to share something that came alive to me a few months ago during one of my pastor’s messages. He was preaching on the book of Mark. If you have your Bible, read Mark 2:1-5.
(***Don’t have a Bible? See the link at the end of this blog***)
I’ve heard this story since preschool. Jesus was in a house teaching. There were so many people there, that the place was completely packed. Four men brought another person, who was paralyzed, to see Jesus. But, they couldn’t get in. Instead of being discouraged and leaving, they went up to the roof, made an opening, and lowered this person down into the crowd where Jesus was.
Here stands Jesus. People are all around him and a body comes down from the roof. I can just imagine the people in the room, can’t you? There was probably some eye rolling going on and some “SERIOUSLY? Who do they think they are?” being whispered throughout the crowd.
The Bibles says in verse 5, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (If you go on to read through verse 12 you will see that Jesus later healed the man of his disorder as well.) In Sunday School we always had the flannel graph pictures and coloring pages of the house and the man being lowered down. The emphasis was always on the paralytic and his healing.
Consider this. Verse 5 is a metaphor for carrying others to Jesus IN PRAYER. Jesus was moved by the faith of the four men, NOT of the paralytic. “When Jesus saw THEIR faith” verse 5.
What does this say to us? There are several things.
Jesus wants to, and is waiting to, forgive our sins.
Jesus hears the prayers of His people and is moved by them.
Jesus wants to heal us.
Some things to remember about healing (these are from my notes from Pastor John Lindell’s message)
1. People were healed because they asked.
2. He heals so we are free to serve Him.
3. People came to Him so He healed them. He delighted in it.
So, are we to bring needs before Jesus? Yes!
Are we to support one another in prayer? Yes! We are to “carry” one another to Jesus in faith and in prayer.
In Matthew 18:20, the Bible says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Lisa Bull sees her life as a journey along God’s divine plan. While considering herself an expert on nothing, she enjoys laughing and has made “choosing joy” her motto. Lisa has experienced God’s unfailing love and grace in her life and wants nothing more than for others to enjoy that same gift in their lives.
Lisa is the daughter and granddaughter of ministers. She has multiple relatives in ministry on both sides of her father’s family including several pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries. In fact, ministry in her maternal grandmother’s family can be traced back several generations. She loves being a wife and mother of two terrific young men.