Summary: Four things we can learn from Mark's story of the paralytic being brought to Jesus
There was a man, who was a workaholic. He had a son, who was about seven years old, and like most seven-year-olds, he wanted to spend time with his father, playing catch or some other activity. The father kept promising to spend time with his son, but he was always breaking his promises because the demands of his job often forced him to take his work home with him. So instead of playing catch with his son, he worked. This happened so much that his son became upset. The man knew that he had to put his work aside and spend some time with his son playing catch. He told his son, “Tomorrow when I get home from work, I promise.”
The next day arrived and he was even more burdened with his job than ever before. His son came to him, expecting his father to put aside his work and pick up a ball and a glove. But the father didn’t feel as if he could drop what he was doing at the moment. The father tried to quickly come up with a way to postpone playing catch without hurting his son’s feelings. He found an issue of National Geographic and opened it to a map of the world. He quickly tore the map up into pieces and told his son that it was a puzzle. He said that when his son had put it together, he would stop working and play catch. The father expected that this task would keep his seven year old son busy for an hour or two. After about five minutes, however, the son returned to his father. The puzzle was completed. The father was dumbfounded. “How did you put it together so fast?” he asked his son. The boy replied, “I noticed that on the other side of the map, there was a picture of a man–and when I concentrated on putting the man together, the world just fell into place.”
It doesn’t take much insight to see that the world does not seem like an orderly place most of the time. To many people, the world just makes no sense. It’s a puzzle, and what makes matters worse is that it seems to many people as if some of the pieces are missing. I’m certain that someone out there knows what I’m talking about. To a great many of us, the world seems out of whack, and most of us can never recall a time when it ever was “in whack.” But I’m going to make a radical promise. I don’t mean that it is radical in the sense that it is revolutionary or extreme or crazy. I mean radical in the original sense of the word that refers to something that “cuts to the root” or “cuts to the core” of something; although, to some, what I’m about to promise may sound revolutionary and it may seem a little extreme, and I’m certain that it will sound more than a little crazy to some. The promise that I’m about to make is radical because it cuts to the core of Christianity. The promise is this: your whole world can start to fall into place if you concentrate on putting your life together. But here’s the catch, the one requirement for putting your life back together is faith. If we live a life of faith, our world will fall into place, and we will discover a world of stability. That is the promise.
"Forget what happened in the past,” the prophet Isaiah said, “don’t dwell on event from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?
Believe it or not, there is stability in the world. Believe it or not, the world can make sense. It’s already happening! Don’t you recognize it? Can’t you see it? If you can’t, then you’re not looking at the world the way it is. The world is not like you think it is. This is what Jesus preached. If you really want to know how the world is, then you have to look at it in a new way. That new way is through faith.
The very first thing that Jesus said to anybody in Mark’s Gospel was a declaration that world was not what people thought it was:
“The Kingdom of God is near. Change the way you think about the world, act differently (that is the meaning or “repent”), and believe in the Good News.”
This simple declaration got people talking. Jesus exorcized a demon from a man in a synagogue in Capernaum, and people continued talking. When they heard that Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law, people started talking even more, and based on what was said, they brought to Jesus the sick and the possessed, and Jesus cured them and exorcized demons. Jesus was becoming famous.