We all have those memories that we look back on and realize they were turning points in our lives. This week we continue our journey through scripture revisiting one of those real and powerful moments with our series #nofilter.
The story begins in Mark 2 with Jesus returning to Capernaum, and visiting a friend's house. Droves of people had followed him after hearing about the amazing things he had said and done. With people crowding the doorways and windows, Jesus began to teach with passion.
We see in this moment that it is Jesus' conviction and absolute belief in the truth he teaches that draws these people to him. As we live on mission we are called to follow this example. In order to change the world around us, we must first build a relationship with the people we meet, and then speak in truth and love with genuine belief that is born from experiencing God in our own lives.
The story progresses and four friends arrive with a paralyzed man seeking healing from Jesus. The room is so packed that the friends climb to the roof with their friend, and dig a hole in order to get their friend to Jesus. In this we see an example of incredible faith and commitment from people who may not have even met Jesus. The impact we can have when we share our experiences and lives with others can be just as powerful as these four friends’ faith.
Jesus saw their genuine faith, made plain by their actions, and chose to forgive the paralyzed man's sins. Before even recognizing his physical needs, Jesus tended to the man's spiritual needs. Some religious leaders then challenged Jesus, and he chose to make the moment one of witnessing the love and the power God gives us. He revealed his power by healing the paralyzed man, and sent him on his way.
Something we can take away from Jesus' commission of the newly healed man is an instruction Jesus specifically gave. Jesus told the healed man to take his mat with him as he went back out into the world. The mat resembles the person we used to be, and the newly healed person is who God can create in us when we engage in a relationship with Him. This allows us to engage others who may still be defined by their "mat.