Tuesday, 14 January 2014

"Arise and WALK ! " .

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. " 
Jeremiah 29:13

 On a certain day, a large motley crowd gathered in a room  in the town of Capernaum to hear Jesus preach.  Mark 2:1-2 .
 The crowd , as usual, was made up of  diverse kinds of spectators .
There must have been people  in there listening  to Jesus , people whose "religious hobby " it was to attend any and all religious meetings ;  just  for them to be part of the crowd,  just for them  to say  "I was there when the great minister of God was in town..... !". 
These were the same as  those persons in the present age who  would listen , then they would interject  with  loud "Oh yeah ! Amen!. This is DEEP, man! Preach it , Pastor , pump it up!"!
 They  would clap , cheer and enjoy the songs , the preaching and the "religious atmosphere". 
Thereafter  they would go their merry way  and continue living their  usual lifestyles, a.k.a. the  "business  as usual" way.
The second type of people present there would have been those who had come hoping and believing that they would receive the word and the  touch from Jesus  to heal them to the utmost.
Such spectators  would leave the place with life-changing miracles.  
Then , there amongst the crowd were the privileged few who could get  seats or standing spaces in the same room with Jesus . 
Present  were the Pharisees , the scribes and doctors of the law ; some of who  were  mockers and antagonists. These were people who would have come there to listen to Jesus and to antagonise Him. Their mission was to assess Jesus' compliance with the  Judaic Scriptural doctrines and to question  Jesus' spiritual level of authority to preach and heal the people .
 Religious spies were present to  hear Jesus speak and then use His words to accuse Him of "blasphemy " and all sorts of crimes.  Luke 5:20-24  

 On this occasion, as the crowd gathered around Jesus , notwithstanding  their missions there, it was recorded  that " and the power of God was present to heal them" .Luke 5 :17.
To that meeting came a group  of people who carried on a bed a man crippled  by  palsy(paralysis).   
1 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him ". Luke 5:18 .                                       
The Bible does not tell us whose idea it was to bring the afflicted man with his bed to that place where Jesus was teaching  and preaching.
 Was it the paralysed man whose  faith  made him
to insist  that his friends  carried him to Jesus or was it his friends and his family who insisted that he must cooperate with them to allow them carry him and his bed and place him at Jesus' feet ?
Before they arrived , the paralyzed man and his friends must have heard of Jesus' fame as the "Faith-healer from Nazareth" who was performing miracles from place to place. 
Maybe they had never seen Jesus performing miracles before ; so they could have stayed away because they were not sure of  what would happen  to them if they  went  to Jesus .
 But they decided to  believe the good news they had heard about Jesus and go to that meeting  to touch Jesus and be touched  by  Him.
The afflicted man had never seen the miracle of a cripple getting up and walking but he must have said," If Jesus is in town , I must  go meet  Him. Jesus has done wonders  for others ,TODAY He must do something  for me too!"
When this group of men arrived at the place carrying their friend , they could have  been discouraged at the sight of the huge crowd  blocking the entrance into the place or  they could have been put off by  their resentment and  shock at the ( "blasphemies!" ?),  the uncommon but powerful words which they heard Jesus preaching . Or they could become angry at  the way people were staring and  pointing  at the afflicted man on his bed ..
For many reasons, these men could have left there and returned home disappointed. .
  But they  had come  to the place determined  to achieve their mission of having an encounter with Jesus Christ and they were unwilling  to  be hindered by anything or by anybody . 
Not deterred by the crowd blocking the doorway, they put into action  the only other option which was their desperate plan  to  access the room where Jesus was preaching , through the roof.  
These men put aside their fears of what people would say in disapproval of their  resorting  to the desperate action of bursting through the roof  .
They had to do just that in order to lower the paralyzed man and his bed right down before Jesus' feet ; not minding the protests  of  the people  upon whom  the rubble and dust  from the broken  roof showered like rain!
 "And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus ". Luke 5:18-19 .
 Whose idea it was to drop the man and his bed of affliction through the roof  down at the feet of Jesus , paled into insignificance before the fact that by their actions,these men walked and worked by exhibiting faith , without which it is impossible  to please God . Hebrews 11 :6.
Therefore their faith birthed their desired goal which was the miracle of instantaneous healing for he who was afflicted by crippling palsy ! 
vs. 20 "And when he (Jesus ) saw their faith , he said unto him , Man , thy sins are forgiven you"
"I say unto you , Arise and take up your bed and walk into your house ". vs. 24(b) . 
Faith in God makes all the difference. 
Though unseen, faith is the substance, the liberating force which brings solutions and victories into hopeless situations. 
Fear is unseen; but it is that substance in the imagination which compounds problems; it is paralyzing and it truncates destinies.
In the presence of God there is power and glory which bestow fullness of joy  and pleasures for ever more. 
Unbelief,mockery or fear cannot  disprove  and diminish the efficacy  of God's power ; but  unbelief , fear  and mockery could  stop a person  from having a faith encounter with God's presence.
Therefore nobody who has had an encounter with God's Presence leaves empty-handed ; be you a mocker , a hater of God , a mere spectator or a determined seeker of God ; you will never go away the same way you came. 
 The good news is: the presence of God is always powerful  to heal and deliver to the uttermost . If you believe,  be it done  to you according  to your faith. Mark 9: 23.
On this occasion, like it happens always after an encounter with Jesus Christ, the man oppressed by paralysis was delivered completely. He was  made whole again  and he went home rejoicing.  
 " Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God ". Luke 5: 25 ( NIV ).
Even the spectators including the mockers and nay-sayers left the venue praising God  with amazing and fearful testimonies  and their spirits were revived .
"And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day ". Mark 5: 26 (KJV).
Glory  Hallelujah!  
All the time, may God  put testimonies in the mouths of those who hate us and our God .  
Some people accept God's grace but some are full of excuses , resentment , doubts and fears about  why they would not  accept  and believe in the salvation of God..
 What is that affliction  , that satanic padlock and embargo in the forms of fear and  unbelief which have  kept  you  bound, bed-ridden , retarded and stagnant ? 
Would you remain as you are , paralysed by fear and unbelief  or you will "Arise , take up your bed and WALK!"?
  The ball is in your court  . 
God bless you as you  reach out in faith and  touch Jesus Christ . He will make you whole again.

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