“Jesus is teaching at Peter’s house!”
The cry goes out across the city. Many come to hear the Master. Those who have heard Him want to hear more; those who have only heard of His teachings, want to know if they’re true. Then there are those who do not believe Him, yet want to catch Him in some doctrinal error to challenge Him.
And there are those who can’t come. They’ve heard, they yearn to know the truth, yet are unable to move; paralyzed, not with fear, but physically. Crying inside without hope because the current teaching is that they’re in this condition because of their sin, “It’s God’s judgment”.
This is a story of four men as they make their way to hear the Master Who they’ve met before. Four men that have been touched by the Master.
“Bartimaeus, have you heard? Jesus is back!” A man stretches forth a strong hand in greeting.
“Yes, I can see you’re heading there too,” said with a gleam in his eyes.
“Hurry or you’ll miss Him,” comes a voice behind them. Turning they’re startled to see a Roman soldier with a servant. When the soldier speaks again they recognize him, “May we walk with you? My servant wants to meet the Man that healed him.”
“Centurion, we’d be honored,” the strong hand is thrust out again.
They move swiftly, bumping into a man moving slowly.
“Oh, pardon us. We almost knocked you over.”
The man smiles a smile as if there is nothing wrong, at peace with the world even though he was almost run over.
“Lazarus! Are you going to see the Master too?”
“I have seen Him and will see Him again.”
Slight laughter follows, knowing what he’s seen.
“Do come with us.”
Four men from different backgrounds, walk together. A former blind beggar, a man with two strong hands after once being removed from the synagogue because he had been healed on the Sabbath, a Roman Centurion whose knowledge of the use of authority allowed his beloved servant’s healing, and Lazarus who has experienced the Master’s power as none before him had.
“We must hurry.”
“Yes, there are so many going.”
Moving quickly, sharing stories, laughing, worshiping, they trip over a man lying along the path.
“Did we hurt you?”
“No one can hurt me any more,” the paralyzed man replies.
They start to move on, stop, look at each other, then turn and grab a corner of the paralyzed man’s mat, carrying him.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To be healed by the Master.”
“But He can’t heal me.”
Stopping, they all look at him.
“Yes He can. See this hand?” Stretching forth his strong right hand, “Jesus healed it. It was as withered as a…as a prune!” Muffled chuckling.
“But it’s more than just my hand.”
“By His authority He spoke and my servant, near death, was restored.”
“And I had been dead four days when He brought me back to life.”
“But you don’t see what I’m saying,” turning his head away.
“Listen, I was a beggar like you, only I was blind and He gave my sight back. He can do the same for you.”
“You don’t see what I’m saying. He can’t heal me.”
One realizes what he means, gives a knowing nod to another. The nod then shared by the four. The paralyzed man looks bewildered. Nothing's said as the four men reach down, pick up the mat and with urgency now run. The paralytic’s continued protests go unnoticed.
Arriving at the house, the men realize they can not get in, even the windows are blocked with those trying to see Jesus.
“I told you not to bring me. Take me back.”
“Quick, the stairs, to the roof. We’ll dig a hole and lower him,” the Centurion orders. With the hole big enough, each takes off his long rope belt tying it to a corner, then lower him down, right in front of Jesus and the startled legalistic doubters.
“When Jesus seeing their faith, He said to the sick of the palsy, ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.’” (Mark 2:5, KJV)
"I am clean, forgiven. Oh, the love. Praise God."
He is now at peace, worshiping the God of the universe.
Based on Mark chapter 2, verses 1-12, the paralyzed man does eventually walk out of the house but sometimes we miss that there were four men who Jesus noticed first.
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