When Jesus saw their faith . . .

We know that Jesus healed people. But the way he went about healing varied. Sometimes someone approached Jesus directly, voiced their need, and he healed them. But other times, as in today’s Gospel, Jesus heals someone because someone else interceded on that person’s behalf.

The paralyzed man in today’s story is curiously silent. We don’t know how he felt about Jesus. Did he really believe, or was he just going along with his friends’ plans? And what did he think when Jesus first proclaimed that his sins had been forgiven? We simply don’t know.

What we do know is that the people who brought this man to Jesus certainly had faith. In fact, Mark’s Gospel notes that in order to get past the crowds surrounding Jesus, these friends climbed onto the roof of the house and made a hole in it to lower the man down to the Lord (2:4). Their persistence obviously impressed Jesus. Matthew tells us that it was “their faith” that moved Jesus to heal the man (9:2, emphasis added).

The circumstances of Jesus’ healing miracles may vary, but they all had one thing in common: faith. People believed Jesus could help, and he did. In fact, faith was so important that he was not able to perform many miracles in his hometown of Nazareth “because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58).

Do you have someone in your life who needs physical or spiritual healing? You may feel helpless as you watch them suffer. But you always have a way to help: let your faith move you to bring them to Jesus, just as the paralyzed man’s friends did. Believe that Jesus sees your faith as you intercede for them, encourage them, and even offer to pray with them. He values your persistence and won’t turn a deaf ear.

Jesus delights in every way that you try to bring people to him for help or healing. Especially when the person you are interceding for has little or no faith, he sees your faith. So don’t give up! Even if you can’t detect any change in that person’s life, you can still trust that your faith is making a difference.

“Lord, I believe that you can work wonders, even for those who don’t believe!”

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19:8-11
Matthew 9:1-8


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