Andy Hollifield 4-25-17

Mark 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Borne————–to lift up= Greek——- airo

Sick of the palsy. The Greek word is paralitykos. The origin of our word paralyzed. It is a weakening of muscles on one side. He was in a bad way. Just like with a stroke or Bell’s palsy, maybe even unable to speak if the vocal chords were paralized. We don’t know to what extent but we know he was bedridden. Imagine if you can, the hopelessness of his situation.

Let’s look at a story for a minute. It takes place in a typical neighborhood probably a lot like yours. Everyone going about their lives totally oblivious to the crippled man who is carried to his front porch each day to just sit and watch people pass by. If someone waves, he will try to throw up his good hand if he has one and maybe even grunt a greeting if he is able. Everyone oblivious, except for one man. One man walking by each day and ever since he first noticed the man on the porch he makes it a point to smile and wave. He feels good about it and he is satisfied for a while. Over time however, all the friendly gestures toward this crippled man have got him to thinking. “I wonder what this man done before he got in that condition? I wonder if he has kids and I wonder how old they are?” He slowly begins to see this cripple man as exactly what he is; a man. He is no longer the cripple down the road but he has become his neighbor who has fallen on hard times. Still, he passes by doing nothing. Until one day on his way home, he sees a house where people are backed out into the street. He stops and moves closer so he can hear. As he stands there trying to hear what is going on, he sees someone he recognizes. “No, there is no way that could be him. The man that just came out of that house couldn’t possibly be the blind man from the temple. That little girl walking with him; she looks just like the kid begging down on the temple corner. That’s impossible, it sounds like she is singing a song! She can’t be singing, she’s mute. She has never been able to speak, I have known her since she was a baby. I have got to find out what’s going on” he says to himself. He begins asking people until someone tells him; “Jesus of Nazareth is inside healing people”.

He can’t even get anywhere close to the house so he decides to head home. As he is walking he begins to think about his neighbor with the palsy. “It sure would be nice to get him in there and see if Jesus could do anything for him” he says to himself. “From all I’ve heard of him, I bet he could.” “As a matter of fact, I’m sure he could!” “Maybe if I can get some help, I might could get him to Jesus.” So he finds three of his other neighbors that agree to help him. They are all in agreement that if they can get him to Jesus, he can be made whole. “But that’s a big crowd and there is no way they can get through it with a bed.” So they grab some rope and decide they will figure something out when they get there. They run to their palsied neighbor and get hold of his bed and start out the door. On the way, they tell him about Jesus and that they are going to try to get him to him because they believe he can heal him. When they arrive, they see the crowd has grown. Joey, the leader of the group says to the rest of them, “looks like we are going to be doing some roofing.” The other three agree that they didn’t want to leave without their neighbor Bud being healed. They barely knew him and actually hadn’t really met him before today. Joey was the only one that had really talked to him much. After climbing up on the roof, they begin to remove tiles and dig through sod. They would definitely have to come back to fix this man’s roof, but if they could get Bud to Jesus, it would be worth it. After a couple of hours of hard labor under the hot mid-day sun, they had a hole they could see in. As the dirt fell in the house, everyone began to look up. There was no time to waste, so they began to lower Bud down with the ropes, bed and all. As the bed gently hits the floor the men realize they have succeeded! There is Bud directly in front of Jesus. As Jesus saw Bud, he noticed the four faces peering down from the roof waiting in anticipation to see what was going to happen next. Jesus again turned his attention to Bud and said unto him, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” As you might expect, the scribes and pharisees took issue with Jesus forgiving his sins. After dealing with all of them he told Bud, “Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine own house.” As the five men walked home together discussing what a story Bud was going to have to tell in the neighborhood, Bud turned to Joey and said, “If you hadn’t come by and kept insisting on getting me to Jesus, I would still be in the same condition, still bound in my bed.” (Luke 5:12-24)

I just rewrote this in the form of a story. I don’t know their names but I do know this. This could be my neighbor or yours. Would you be like Joey and carry a burden for your neighbor just on the chance that it would help him. My friend, our neighbors have a far greater need than what this man had. You can be assured of one thing though; If you can get them to Jesus, he can definitely help them. The question isn’t whether Jesus will help them, the question is whether you and I will. Will you carry the burden? Someone had to be the first to decide to carry the burden. He never would have gotten fixed if someone hadn’t cared enough to carry the burden and make things harder on themselves for the benefit of others. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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