When my wife was just a child, her dad owned a dry cleaning business and also cleaned apartments. Her dad would often make this statement to his two children: "The family that prays together, stays together; and the family that works together, eats." These were words of wisdom that unified the family for a common goal.
Mark 2:1-5 reminds me of this same thought as four friends are found working together to reach a common goal: to carry their friend into the presence of Jesus. It's obvious from the Biblical account that the man sick of the palsy could not get to Jesus on his own. As a matter of fact, he couldn't even assist his friends in this task. Thankfully, he had others who were compassionate, resourceful, able, and willing to work together. The secret to their successful teamwork lies in their ability for each of them to man their corner. They could have all tried to grab the same corner of the sick man's bed. They could have argued over who was going to get the "lighter end." Yet with no apparent disagreement, they each simply picked up their corner and started towards Jesus. Now as simple as that might seem, they did encounter a few major hurdles along the way that required much adjustment, a bit of flexibility, and a lot of patience. Even when their course led them to the rooftop, their perseverance and careful corner-management paid off.
Let me ask you a couple of questions: Who are you and I trying to get to Jesus? A friend, a neighbor, a family member, someone in the youth group or in the nursing home, or even someone in the prison system? Could it be the one you are trying to get into the presence of Jesus is from another people group, possibly living on another continent? Are you attempting this on your own or do you have others engaged in the task?
In verse 5, we read these words: "When Jesus saw their faith, ..." Working together in harmony, Jesus saw their faith. Sometimes I believe I get so focused on the corner I'm holding that I forget to balance and adjust for people on other corners. I need help getting people to Jesus and so do you. Let's make a daily, conscience effort to help each other, to be a little more merciful towards each other, and to be more aware of our dependency as we each man our corner.
Written by Dale Money