Friday Morning Devotion (How Badly do You Want It?)

(1) A few days later when he returned to Capernaum it was heard that he was at home. (2) And many gathered until there was no more room for them, not even around the door, and he was conversing with them about the word. (3) And some came bringing a paralytic to him, carried by four men. (4) And when they were unable to bring him in because of the crowd, they took off the part of the roof where he was, and when there was a hole they let down the paralytic’s mat. — Mark 2:1-4

When you need a touch from God, whether of healing, direction, peace, forgiveness, or whatever else you may need, just how anxious are you to get it? Will you be stopped by embarrassment? By obstacles in your way? Because you don’t have enough moral support from your friends? By the crowds of more important people who want that same touch? Or is it possible that you’ll just forget to ask, that the worries and distractions of your day will make you just forget?

There are quite a number of things one can draw from this paralyzed man and how he manages to get healed. One of them, however, is this: Don’t let anything stop you!

Jesus is busy. Lots of people, perhaps important people, have crowded around him. We know there are some spiritual leaders of the town who have gathered there. I would guess that they want to discuss serious spiritual issues. Just who is it that can forgive sins? Can you talk about it? Should sinners be allowed to gather with you before they’re forgiven or only afterward? Do we really want these people anyhow?

I would imagine that the spiritual leaders were less than happy with Jesus. After all, he was popular. He attracted a crowd. We all know just what type of people are likely to be mixed in when there’s a crowd!

So there they are gathered, and there’s no room, even outside the door. Have you ever felt that way about God? There are people gathered around the altar at church in prayer, but there’s no room for you. Perhaps there are small groups, but you don’t quite fit in. There’s none that adequately matches your needs. So you stay home, or you hang out in the pew and you miss the times of prayer.

No room. It’s a good excuse to go home, avoid the embarrassment of admitting you have sins that need forgiven. You don’t have to admit that you wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t persuaded these four men to carry you. You’re helpless, and that makes you less important, doesn’t it? Let’s leave. There’s no hope here!

But those four men weren’t taking “no” for an answer. There’s no room at the door? Make another one! Come in through the roof! And so this one paralyzed man gets in to see Jesus.

What’s holding you back?

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