Every once in a while, I have a day of doubt – never in God Himself, but more in if this is what God truly wants of me or if I’ve made it all up in my head. Yesterday, I was doubting. Today, He answered me in the form of the message at church. The message itself was on the great importance of spiritual friendship, and we spent the morning in Luke 5, verses 17-26:
One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man,“Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”
One of the portions that our guest speaker focused on today was the phrase “Seeing their faith.” Jesus forgave the sins of the paralyzed man and healed him completely, not because of the man’s faith, but because of the faith of his friends who carried him. The pastor then said, “It was as if Jesus was saying to them, ‘Your faith for this man counts.’” I got chills at that moment, because it was as if Jesus was literally saying to me, “Your faith for Jahar counts.” The pastor went on to talk about how our prayers are ordained by God to be a part of the establishment of His kingdom and that we are in a partnership with God – being His hands and feet for others. I can’t help but believe that God has ordained our prayers for Jahar, knowing the life-altering transformations that will happen directly because of them. The man in this story would have never come to Jesus if it hadn’t been for his friends having such faith that they carried him a long way and then stopped at nothing to get him to Jesus. Many people would have just given up and went home when they saw the obstacles in their way, but these friends were so determined that they found the craziest way to get their precious friend to Jesus’s healing love. It’s often frustrating that we have no way to directly lead Jahar to Jesus and that there are seemingly so many insurmountable obstacles in our way, but perhaps when he finally gets there – it will become evident that he never would have if it hadn’t been for a committed group of believers following God’s call to pray without ceasing and to stop at nothing to see Jahar become a new creation in Him.
At the end of this passage from Luke, the Pharisees and teachers of the law, who were just moments before scoffing at Jesus, went away praising God with wonder and awe. It is my fervent prayer that when Jahar comes to Jesus – the miraculous transformation in him will bring so much glory to God’s name that everyone who witnesses it, including unbelievers, will walk away praising God with wonder and awe.
Until that moment, may we never forget that our faith for this man – this precious child of God who is so unbelievably lost – counts.