A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
- Mark 2:1-3
For the next two weeks we’re going to be looking at the story of the healing of the paralytic. This paralyzed man had friends who carried him over the crowd and straight to Jesus, who healed him. This story gives us an insight into the heart of spiritual friendship and of God’s compassion.
The ancient world would have been an incredibly difficult world for someone experiencing paralysis. There was no ADA. Wheelchairs weren’t available. Paralytics would have been completely dependent on their family and friends in a society that didn’t broadly welcome them.
People with physical disabilities would have been considered deformed, would have been considered cursed by God, and would have been prevented from entering fully into fellowship with their spiritual communities.
A paralyzed person would have experienced deep disconnection from God and from other people.
Friendship reverses that disconnection. In spiritual friendship, we connect in meaningful ways with another person and, ultimately, through that relationship, with God.
What is your current experience of friendship? With whom do you have meaningful friendships? Which of your friendships help you connect well with God?