Have you ever been in a situation where you lost all hope? Where you didn’t have the faith to get up and get yourself out of the circumstances you were in. Where you desperately needed someone to come along, pick you up, revitalize you in order that you might be able to ride their faith all the way to your breakthrough.
Well in Mark’s gospel we come across a situation just like this. This is what he writes:
“And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12 ESV)
This paralytic had no way of getting to Jesus. He probably never even heard of Jesus. He probably didn’t know that Jesus was the only one that could deliver him out of his situation. And he had been stuck in his circumstance for so long that he had lost all hope and didn’t have any more faith. He desperately needed someone to come along where he could ride on their faith to get him through.
We come across people like this everyday. They might not be physically in pain but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually they are broken and hurting. They need us to come along in order that we might pick them up and they can ride on the shoulders of our faith until they can gain some faith of their own.
We see this in Mark. Notice how it says when Jesus saw their faith. It wasn’t the faith of the paralytic. It was the faith of his friends that Jesus saw. It was because of their faith that the paralytic was healed.
I’ll admit I’ve been in the position of the paralytic before. I have been in a place of despair where I desperately needed to get by on some secondhand faith. Where just at the right time, a friend would come along and encourage me. Just when I needed it the most, I would get a card full of appreciation that would inspire me to keep on going. Right before I was about to throw in the towel, someone would come along with a word of encouragement that would pick me up and give me my second wind.
The last thing we see in this story is that the people said that they had never seen anything like this before. I believe that if we could reach out to the broken and hurting people in our lives and let them get by on our faith, we will start to see things that we have never seen before. We will start to see people who are emotionally captive set free. We will see people who are mentally paralyzed rise up and walk. We will see people who are spiritually dead come back to life.
If you are reading this and you find yourself in a place of hopelessness and despair, let this be an encouragement to you. Let these words of faith come along and pick you up out of your circumstance. Let this post give you your second wind in order that you may not give up but keep on going.