The passage starts with our Lord entering Capernaum once again. You will remember in the previous chapter that He preached in the synagogue. He drove out demons and healed the sick. Finally, the Lord heals a leper, who was told not to tell anyone except to show himself to the priest. The leper, however, “went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city” (Mark 1:45).
Therefore, when the people heard that the Lord was in town again, a large crowd gathered in the house where He was preaching so that there was not even standing space outside the door. The scribes were there also to check Him out, test Him, and condemn Him if they could. What was the Lord’s purpose for being there? He was there to preach the gospel (Mark 2:2). The four who carried the sick of the palsy were determined to get him in front of the Lord. However, they may have been very disappointed when they first arrived. They could have waited for Him to come out. They could just have quit and thought, “What’s the use? It’s impossible to get to Him.” Instead, they probably said, “It’s now or never. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
We know the rest of this amazing story. While the Savior was preaching, the roof was taken apart, and a stretcher was lowered with the sick man on it – talk about an attention-grabber! “When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee’” (Mark 2:5). This was likely more than the sick man was expecting. Perhaps he was only looking for physical healing; but he received the greater gift of spiritual healing as well. The Lord was clearly using this opportunity to display His deity: “Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7). “Arise and take up thy bed and go thy way into thy house” (Mark 2:11). How wonderful it is when a soul can hear, “Thy sins be forgiven thee” from the One with all authority, our Lord Jesus Christ! “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25).
I am not a numbers man, but I find the number four interesting. We have the four gospels that carry us to the Lord, it was four diverse individuals who carried the paralytic man to the Lord, and on a personal note, our family will be indebted to a dear sister who was willing to carry us to the Lord for four long years. She invited us to gospel meetings, not once, twice, but many times. Personal gospel work can have many disappointments, but His work never goes unnoticed. “Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).
Whom are you willing to carry?