We don’t usually handle interruptions very well, yet we find Jesus interrupted in the middle of teaching a group of people and acting compassionately. The occasion is found in Mark 2 when a paralyzed man is lowered through the roof of a house in Galilee.
In this post, Shane Johnson, who is a regular contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio through his program entitled “Christ Up Close,” explains the significance of the story. Click here to read part 2
Jesus healed a paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2. At the time He was in a private house in Galilee which was so packed they had to lower the paralyzed man through a hole in the roof. Jesus healed a paralyzed man in John chapter 5 in a public place, the pool of Bethesda, at a public time, a feast of the Jews. Yet He conducted Himself on these two occasions in diametrically opposite ways. Why the difference?
In Mark chapter 2 we read that the house where Jesus was teaching was so full that no one could even enter through the door. As a result, four unnamed men took it upon themselves and worked very hard to bring one more person to the meeting.
What Was Special?
What was so special about this one man that four men felt compelled to drag his 150 pound body, assuming he was a small man, up onto the sun scorched roof? What was so special about this one man that merited someone’s house being vandalized and damaged in order to lower him into the meeting? Imagine someone smashing a window just so that they could climb into your meeting and hear the speaker! And lastly, what was so special about this one man to think that the Master of Israel could be interrupted during one of His official sermons? What was so special?
Could it be that it had nothing to do with who this man was but everything to do with who Jesus was? These men had heard about Jesus, or had previously met Jesus, and somehow knew that He would not be bothered by this interruption. Perhaps these men had seen or had heard that Jesus had healed a paralyzed man in Jerusalem at the pool of Bethesda and figured Jesus was willing to help if only people would come to Him.
By faith they trusted Jesus would help. By faith they banked on His graciousness. By faith they didn’t bother to knock on the door to excuse their interruption but practically barged down the door, requesting a miracle on another man’s behalf. Talk about putting feet to your prayers! These men not only held this brother up in prayer but did everything they could to hold this brother up, literally.
Many people perhaps grew up with the exact opposite impression. Those who were in authority over us, say our parents or our teachers, did not exhibit such kind long-suffering or abundant graciousness when it came to us interrupting them. Many of us remember hearing a voice from behind a shut door, saying, “Can’t you see I’m busy here?” Or worse, just one word: “What!” The result was paradoxical – they ended up helping us but we knew they didn’t really want to. Perhaps our parents were tired or our teachers were busy, but it seems to me we learned pretty quickly not to bother or interrupt those who were in authority over us with our petty and unimportant concerns.
Not so with the Lord Jesus. Don’t lump Him together with all the impatient people of the world. Here’s the problem: on a subconscious level we tend to assume the Lord Jesus will respond how others have responded in the past. “Children should be seen and not heard” is a motto many children grew up hearing. Contrast that motto with the Lord’s motto for us – pray without ceasing. He always wants to hear us. He loves to answer our prayers. He likes to show He cares.
Click here for part 2.
You can listen to pod casts from Shane Johnson’s show, “Christ Up Close,” by clicking here.
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Images Courtesy of:
Codex Egberti – Healing of the Paralytic
Alex Bruda – Parent and Child