As Pastor Jerry continues his series based on “The Way: Following in the Footsteps of Jesus” by Adam Hamilton, we learned about being instruments of God’s healings. What’s that all about? Back to that in a bit….
He began by pointing out the obvious….The reality is that when you live in a small town, it is pretty hard to remain anonymous! Everyone seems to know everyone’s business. The same was true back in Jesus’ day. Jesus’ first sermon was in his small home town of Nazareth, where he was scorned and rejected (not to mentioned almost killed!). How heart breaking that must have been for him, as it was the foreshadow of what was to come. He then walked 24 miles to the town of Capernaum, which would become the home base for his ministry for the next three years. It was here that a demon-possessed man confronted Jesus as he was teaching in the temple. Jesus cast the demon out, and healed the man’s loneliness and isolation. This was something Jesus understood first-hand after his rejection in his home town.
It was here in Capernaum that Jesus performed many of his miracles and healed hundreds of people. Which gets us back to the point of being instruments of God’s healing. “What??” you say, “I’m not a doctor!” We don’t need to be. He is the great physician, and will use us, if we only let him. He beautifully modeled this with the story in Mark 2: 1-5, when friends carried a paralyzed man to Jesus in the hopes he would be healed. When they got to the house where Jesus was staying, there were so many people they could not get in. These committed friends were not daunted or discouraged, so they simply went to plan B. They decided to carry him to the roof, where they would make a hole big enough to lower their friend down through, so he could see Jesus. And the key point from this story is not that Jesus healed the paralytic, but that he healed him because of the faith of his friends! They believed and intervened on his behalf! And Jesus healed their friend. I think there’s a lesson there for us! 🙂
Which brings us back to the title of this post…whose “stretcher-bearer” are you? We all need them… those friends who will carry us in our times of need. They are willing to pick us up and take off the roof, to get the job done. Thank heavens for faithful friends like that! So, whose stretcher-bearer” have you been? Who have you helped “carry” through a difficult time? What steps are you willing to take to help get them to the feet of Jesus so they can live abundantly, when they don’t have the strength to do it on their own? Think about that this Lenten season. Someone needs you more than you know!