Today we are reading from Mark 2: 1-12:
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3 Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12 And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
One of my favorite baseball writers is a guy by the name of Peter Gammons. He worked for years at ESPN, before that he was at the Boston Globe. Great, great, great writer. Loved baseball and it came through in his right. He is a revered figure.
A few years back he had a major stroke and almost died because of it. He was later asked what was it like to grow through this and recover. He said it’s almost like getting to go to your own funeral, everyone says all the nice things about you they feel. And then he said something I’ve shared with people in the midst of tragedy before – sometimes the best thing about suffering is you see who is on your side.
I believe that is so true. Our loss and hurt often show us who is really on our side. Who is there when we are sick? In the hospital? In need? Who shows up? Who cares? Today, we see a lucky man, because he had four friends on his side. They were willing to do whatever it took to get this guy to Jesus. And the text tells us when Jesus saw THEIR faith, He healed the man.
It wasn’t the man’s faith. It was the friends’ faith. He saw who was on his side, and it made all the difference.
Today, who is on your side? Who can you count on? Who believes in you? Name them now. Thank God for them. And now, let them know that you are thankful for them. Call them. Text them. Reach out to them. Let them know that you are thankful.
And in the same way, be on their side. Today, we have much to be thankful for.
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