Daily Readings & Thought for August 7th. “WHEN JESUS SAW THEIR FAITH”
In Mark’s Gospel today we have the familiar and much loved account of the paralysed man who was carried by his 4 friends on a bed to Jesus and ”when they could not get near him because of the crowd” they carried him up and “removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay” [2 v.4]
Then comes a significant comment , “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, My Son, your sins are forgiven … and he rose and he immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all.” [v.5,11] We meditate that this healing took place ”when Jesus saw THEIR faith.” This shows an occasion when our Lord responded to the faith of others. Faith is “spiritual sight! In Hebrews 11 v.27 Paul wrote of Moses, that “he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” That is the ultimate description of faith – “seeing him who is invisible” – and for Moses it led to God being visible to some degree on the top of the mountain! Think of what you will see, as a result of having genuine faith now, when the kingdom is established!
We really must have the conviction of mind of the things we pray for. When Peter was imprisoned, “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” [Acts 12 v.5-16] but those praying when their prayer was answered in the dramatic way it was, were utterly astonished – and disbelieving at first.
At the present time many are praying about the plight of brethren in south Africa, Pakistan and India – where many, maybe all would face persecution and illness with Covid maybe death.
The four friends of the paralytic went to extreme lengths because of their faith in what Jesus could do, may we, as we read in Romans a few days ago, “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” [12 v.12] And to the Thessalonians, in his second letter, Paul tells them, We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” [1 v.3] Can Jesus see my faith, your faith?