Have you ever heard yourself say that you can’t force someone to seek help; they have to want it for themselves? I’ve said those words myself, but as we studied Mark 2, my view started to change. Four men saw a paralytic, looked at the packed entrance to the building where Jesus was teaching, and decided to take matters into their own hands. The reality was that the paralytic was not able to help himself, so if he was going to get to see the physician, he had to have help.

These four men took four corners of a mat, cut a hole in the roof above Jesus, and lowered the mat with the paralytic to a position where all he would have to do was say, “yes, please heal me.” Who were these four men and what role might each of them have played in the life of the paralytic?

One man may have held the corner of faith. Without faith, these men would not have dared to disrupt such a large gathering and go to the work of destroying a building. They had faith that Jesus would heal otherwise they would have not attempted such a feat.

A second man may have held a corner that declared the truth. The paralytic was most likely painfully aware of his physical state. Yet how many people do we encounter on a daily basis who are in denial of their broken state; numbed by drugs, food, or toxic beliefs? John 8:32 says that the truth will set you free. When in bondage though, freedom is often only a distant dream. A good friend will continue to speak the truth in love even if the truth hurts.

The third corner may have been held by an encourager. This man provided hope, telling the paralytic to hang on; the journey was not going to be easy but healing and wholeness were waiting on the other end.

And the fourth? He may have been the prayer warrior. He was the one who called out Scripture, declaring that the Physician was the way, the truth, and the life. He would cry out to God asking for strength to endure.

Stop and think about a time when you were struggling and needed someone to come alongside you and offer one if not all four of these forms of assistance. Has there ever been a time when you knew in the depths of your soul that you needed healing but you also knew that you couldn’t do it alone? Making the final decision to receive healing or forgiveness does belong to the person seeking help, but that person, while crying out on the inside, may not have the ability or willingness to ask. Their brokenness may have them crippled; unable to stand and seek help for themselves. As followers of Jesus, we are called to carry one another’s burdens. That may require shedding light on sin by speaking bold, honest truth, and by having faith that God can heal even when the crippled person has lost all hope. It will require encouragement and prayer, but what a privilege it is to carry a corner for a friend in order to bring them to the feet of Jesus, our forgiver, our healer, and our source of all hope. Jesus is our Great Physician.

Lynette Fuson
Director of Care & Counseling

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