I am currently diving deeper into the four gospels, and I just started the book of Mark. I just finished chapter 2, and these verses stood out to me:
"Some men came, bringing to him (Jesus) a paralyzed man, 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 by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Verses 3-5).
You know, honestly, I do not know whether the paralyzed man had faith at that moment. Maybe he had faith as small as a mustard seed, maybe not? Did he even want to be brought to Jesus? He had to rely on his friends and family to care for him, I am sure. But here is the thing, the paralyzed man was forgiven for what his friends did.
The paralyzed man’s friends acted on their faith. They saw his needs and did something about it. They did an action out of compassion. Jesus recognized this action, was impressed by the faith they had, and forgave the paralyzed man’s sins as result. But not only that, Jesus backed up his words with action as well. Jesus had the power to forgive as well as to heal. What did the man do upon being forgiven and healed? In Luke 5:25, it said he went home praising God!
We need to keep our eyes open. There are people all around us that have both physical and spiritual needs that we can meet, if only we notice them. It does not matter whether those in need are believers or not, we should be prompted to act upon seeing the needs we can help with. It does not matter if we act alone or with others either. Because even though we may not be able to turn another into a Christian, we have our part to do and God has his. Our faith affects others, both for the better or worst. Do not let it be for the worst.
People can read into our words, actions, and love. There is so much we can do in these three aspects. But most importantly, we can open up the door for others to respond to Jesus himself. We can bring others to Jesus by meeting their needs. Then Jesus will do his part. The question is, how far are you willing to meet another’s needs?
Would you carry someone else on a mat? Would you dig a hole in a roof for another? How far would you go in meeting the needs of another? I bet there are plenty of people who would have seen the crowd and told their paralyzed friend, “Hey, I am sorry, but I can’t get you to Jesus, you won’t be healed today. Maybe we’ll try some other time.” But they did not do that. I want to be like the paralyzed man’s friends. They had such great faith they did all these things for another in need.
We need to start recognizing other’s needs and do all we can do in meeting them too. Because you never know; upon meeting their needs, they may go home praising God! Our faith produces actions. Our faith affects others!