CONCLUSION

Part III: The Paralytic

Who Are Your Go-To People?
Are You a Go-To Person?

And when He returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and He was preaching the word to them.

And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.

Mark 2:1-4

Jesus heals the paralytic

“NT044.Jesus heals the paralytic” by pcstratman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the many miracles Jesus performed in the Gospels was the healing of a paralytic. This healing is unique because in order for it to happen, it required the participation of other people. Jesus was in a house preaching. There were so many people in the house that no one else could get in. They couldn’t even open the door. Four men came carrying their paralyzed friend. When they saw that there was no way to get into the house, they got the paralytic up on the roof of the house, cut a hole in the roof, and let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. Jesus then healed the man.

The four friends were critical to the story. We don’t know whose idea it was to carry the paralytic to Jesus. Maybe it was his idea, and he summoned four friends to carry him there. Maybe it was the idea of one of the friends, who gathered the others and they went to the paralytic to offer to take him to Jesus. Maybe the paralytic went willingly and enthusiastically. Maybe he needed some encouragement. Maybe he didn’t want to go and the friends took him anyway. What we know for sure is that he was carried to Jesus by four men.

The other thing we know is that when the friends got the paralytic to Jesus, their path to Him was blocked. They needed some creativity to get their friend to Jesus. Imagine the four friends brainstorming how to get a bed up the wall of a house and onto the roof, or how to make a hole in the roof and how to lower the man down to Jesus.

The Lesson

The lesson of this story is that in order to get to Jesus, and in order to get through other challenges of life, it requires the help of other people. When we feel paralyzed, hopefully we have four people who will carry us where we want to go. That might mean carrying us to Jesus. Or it might mean carrying us through a challenging time. Like the friends in this story, sometimes we might need encouragement. And sometimes we might need something even more bold, even forceful. We might be hesitant to let someone carry us and someone may come and carry us anyway, recognizing that carrying us is the only way we will get where we need to go. Do you have people to carry you when you feel stuck?

There is no ideal number of people we need to help carry us when we are paralyzed by life. Some people might get by with one other person. Ideally we have several people, like the paralyzed man. If we hope to have four people to carry us, then we should expect to be willing to help carry four others. 

I am thankful that I have a few go-to people who carry me to Christ when my faith is shaky and who pick me up when I feel down. I hope that those people know that I am willing to carry them as well. 

I encourage you to reach out to the people in your life that are your go-to people and thank them for carrying you when you feel stuck and paralyzed. Please let them know that you are willing to be one of their go-to people as well.  

One thing that is certain. No one can go it alone. Even though Jesus is the one who ultimately healed the paralytic, that miracle would not have happened without the loving concern and help from that man’s friends. This is why we need friends. This is why we need mentors. This is why we need encouragers. This is why we need to be part of church community. Because we all need help to get to Jesus as Christians. And we all need help as people just to get through life. 

A Prayer

Lord, thank You for the gift of friends, especially for those special friends who help carry me when life gets challenging (list their names). Help me also to be a good friend, to see those who are in need of help to be carried through their challenges. Help me also to bring people closer to You and bring people into my life who will encourage me to get closer to You. Be with all the people in the world who feel “paralyzed”, trapped and alone. Bring Your angels to carry those who feel like they have no one to carry them. Open our eyes to see them and carry them. Amen.

Build a community of people who can help carry you. Look for people you can help carry. Let your people know who they are. Pray for them. Thank them. Look out for them. Remind and encourage them to look out for you.


+Fr. Stavros

Author

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    Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0


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Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0

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