When was the last time you went to church and were stunned? Your mouth dropped and you looked around to see if others were as astonished as you?
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” (Mark 2:12)
Here’s a crippled guy that was brought in by his friends (brought in, as in lowered from a roof). And Jesus loves the faith of these guys and heals the man.
Put yourself in the place of those outside the house that were not able to get in. They see these guys carrying their friend and they can’t get into the house. Nobody is letting him in. People don’t make a way for the hurting to get inside the house (interesting). So they climb up onto the roof. Certainly everybody outside is already amazed by the commitment and devotion of these four guys carrying their friend. The crowd is certainly with them, hoping this guy gets into the house. They are probably wondering what’s going to happen when he actually does get in. Soon, his friends lower the guy out of the sight of the crowd into the house where Jesus is. Several minutes pass, nothing. And then suddenly, from inside, the crippled man walks out of the house. The crowd erupts in amazement. They are astonished. One translation says “they rubbed their eyes.” I love it.
So, when was the last time you had to rub your eyes at church? No, not to stay awake. But because what you saw was absolutely amazing?
Is there a recipe for being amazed? I don’t know, but what we see in this story is faith, the presence of Jesus, and determination. Which part of the story are you? Do you relate more to the crowd standing outside, curious about what’s going on inside the walls? Are you part of the inside crowd that sometimes forgets there are hurting people outside that can’t get in? Are you the guy on the gurney? Or the friends who didn’t let anything stop them from helping their friend?