Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the account of Jesus forgiving and healing a paralytic man who was brought to Him by several men (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; & Luke 5:17-26). Only Mark’s account observes that there were four who carried their friend (Mark 2:3). It is noteworthy that Mark’s source was the apostle Peter whose home was likely the “home” where this event takes place (Mark 1:29).
All three authors make a point of noting, “When Jesus saw their faith…” (Matthew 9:2b; Mark 2:5; & Luke 5:20). “Their faith” refers to the men who were lowering their friend through the roof tiles as well as the paralytic himself. “Faith,” meaning resolute belief or trust requires an object. In other words the question, “Faith in what?” needs to be answered. The object of biblical faith is God Himself and His Word.
Mark 2:1 states that Jesus had “again entered Capernaum” following a preaching tour through Galilee (Mark 1:39). Read the account of Jesus’ previous ministry in Capernaum in Mark 1:21-28. Given that these men were likely present to hear Jesus’ preaching in the synagogue that day, what does this passage reveal about the object of their faith?
Read the following passages from Mark’s Gospel where Jesus commends the faith of another. What insights do you glean about faith from these Scriptures?
Mark 7:24-30 (Compare with Matthew 15:28)--
Prior to the arrival of the paralytic and his friends Jesus was “preach(ing) the Word” to the crowd that had gathered (Mark 2:2b). By including this information Mark’s Gospel emphasizes the importance of a faith that has as its object Jesus Himself and His Word. How do you sense the Holy Spirit challenging you to grow in faith (resolute belief and trust in Jesus and His Word)?
Who will you endeavor to bring to Jesus?