One of my favorite stories in the Bible is in Mark 2, where some people brought a paralyzed man to Jesus. Word was spreading that Jesus had the ability to heal, so these men carried their friend to him, hoping for a miracle.

When they got to the house where Jesus was preaching, they found that the crowd was so thick that they could not get close to Jesus. Not to be deterred, they dug through the roof and lowered the man on the mat he was lying on through the opening they had created.

No doubt there were some people in the crowd who thought to themselves, “Who is going to pay for the roof to be repaired? Someone is going to have to fix that!”

Jesus did not chastise these bold friends. He rewarded them for their faith by forgiving the man of his sins and healing him from his condition. The paralyzed man got up and walked, and everyone who saw it was amazed and praised God for what Jesus had done.

There are several lessons we can learn from this episode. First, we ought to bring people to Jesus. Everyone needs salvation, and Jesus is the only one who can provide that. Perhaps we can physically bring people to Jesus, or maybe the only way we can bring them to him is to lift them up in prayer. Either way, it should be one of our top priorities to bring people to Jesus.

Second, we have to realize that, no matter what we try to do for the Lord, there are likely to be obstacles that we must overcome. Our task will not always be easy. We need to show perseverance and creativity. Sometimes we must perform the task before us even if those around us do not understand the importance of what we are doing.

Third, we have to understand that Jesus emphasizes the spiritual over the physical. The paralyzed man’s greatest need was not to be able to walk again—it was to have his sins forgiven. Too often our prayers betray an emphasis on the physical rather than the spiritual. Let us strive to give proper priority to prayer concerns.

Do you have a friend whose sin prevents them from walking with God? Do your best to bring that friend to Jesus! Get some other friends to help you. Don’t give up easily. Experience the joy that comes to those who receive the blessing that only Jesus can give—the forgiveness of sins!

For more inspirational writings by Tom Cox, go to www.jesustrek.wordpress.com