Theme of the Week: Stronger
Bible Verse: “The Lord is their strength.” Psalm 28:8
Scripture Reading: Mark 2:1-12
Marvel Comics’ boasts of the Fantastic Four, all wielding superpowers. They’re victorious because of their resilience and trust in each other.
Yet, I’ve found a different hero – four individuals in fact – though none have cool-sounding names like Storm or Avenger. Let’s look beyond this century, not forward, but back to the Judeo-Christian era. Mark 2:1-12 speaks of a paralytic man. I’ll call him Amos. Four (unidentified) men were deeply concerned about him. They had heard of a new prophet called Jesus and were convinced their friend could be healed.
In Hebrew, Amos means strong or carried. They had to find a way of getting him to where Jesus taught. They came to the alleyway plugged with humanity. People were clamoring to get inside, all with valid reasons: some to be healed, some to be forgiven, and some out of curiosity. The Pharisees came to find fault and mock Jesus.
The crowd was in their way and wouldn’t budge an inch. Getting him inside would take a minor miracle. Is it any different today? We all face obstacles, but because of hardship or outright opposition, we back off and retreat.
Perhaps they were ready to give up, head home. But one man was determined and praying, his eyes heaven-ward, a glimmer of hope – a preposterous idea – that defied rhyme or reason.
Resolve and audacity! They were willing to risk all: wrath from the house owner, a rebuke from those outside, or worse yet, a chastening from Jesus Himself. Still, their love for Amos won out. They climbed the rear staircase and removed tiles from the roof. Would they find a willing and compassionate Jesus?
We all face spiritual (sometimes physical) roadblocks, yet God welcomes our obedience. Sure, not all miracles are that dramatic. Yet a rekindled marriage or a mended relationship can be a miracle in itself. Just ask the ones who battled through the ordeal.
Prayer: Thank you for the examples on Scripture of people who did not give up on getting close to you. Help me to have the resolve and determination I need to continue to pursue being more and more like you.
Reflection: What roadblocks are you currently facing? What seems like it is blocking your path to get to Jesus?
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