“And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.”
Mark 2:3, 4
These four individuals had a worthy goal; they wanted to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. As it was, he had to be carried on some sort of a stretcher. When they got him to the house where Jesus was preaching, they were unable to enter. There was such a crowd that it was not possible to get the needy man near the Savior. Confronted with their difficulty, they had to make a decision. They could go home and be content to say, “We did not succeed, but the important thing is that we tried.” Another option would be to press ahead in the face of obstacles, believing that if God brought them this far, He would surely help them complete the task. They chose the latter. Removing the roof to gain entrance into the house, they lowered the bed into the room where Jesus was. Their faith and determination were rewarded in a remarkable way, for the man was healed of his condition and forgiven of his sins. Their faith found a way to get their need to the Son of God.
Some have the notion that faith is invisible and passive, but that is not entirely true. Genuine faith is active; where it is present, there will be evidence. Later in this account, the Bible says, “Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5). The effect of real faith will be seen. Peter’s faith caused him to step out of the boat. Abraham’s faith moved him to the land of promise. Moses’ faith led him back to Egypt to demand that Pharaoh release God’s people. Noah’s faith resulted in the construction of an ark.
Faith, however, can face obstacles. When we set out by faith to do what we believe God would have us do, it is not uncommon for us to face disappointing resistance. This does not mean that we should become discouraged and quit. Sometimes our faith is being tested. What a tragedy it would have been if these four had turned back when their mission became more difficult. Faith must persist when confronted with hardship. Faith will find a way. This man’s life was changed miraculously and eternally because of the persistence of their faith. When confronted with adversity, our faith can find a way to succeed.