And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Sociologists are quick to point out that the healthiest people mentally and physically, are those who are functionally aware of others. These people often find themselves in “the helping professions” like nurses, counselors, pastors, policemen and many other affiliated occupations. It seems that there are some who will wade into other people’s lives, try to do what seems right and most importantly, touching others in their needs.
There are some who say that you either got it, or you don’t. My issue is that Jesus seems to think that His followers would learn how to activate this mentality– this gift. Each of us are directed to “bear one another’s burdens”. This really can’t be adjusted in order to fit my selfish personality. Regardless of my personal proclivities, it seems I am stuck with “the least of these”. Thankfully Jesus promises me a Helper to help me, and help others who need help.
Carrying a cot for a paralyzed man seems to be indicative of how life is going to go for us, as we surrender to the task and carry our share of the load. We comply with the need of the moment, to bring this man into the Lord’s presence. I’m not thinking rewards here, or any special recognition. Essentially, I’m just the schmuck who has to carry this guy into the presence of Jesus.
“Our society is filled with runaways, dropouts, and quitters. The epidemic of walking away has hit our land with effects as devastating as the bubonic plague, and it has destroyed millions of effective lives and relationships. We are so self-centered that we have ceased to lay down our lives for others.”
There is a definitive call to service as His student, His disciple. You just might say that learning how to forget yourself is the major starting point for a real servant. It’s like your new Cadillac Escalade, equipped with cameras and a computer on the dash. You don’t need to ask for these, they just give them to you. It is part of the package. Serving is part of the package that discipleship has when its delivered to your “apartment door.”
You will learn to serve someone else. This tutelage takes a long, long time. In all of these lessons we are free to leave, terminating our relationship with the person we are serving. But I don’t advise this at all. Jacob had Laban teaching him, and teaching him, for many years. Scripture is jammed full of men and women learning by serving. And sometimes, that can take a lot of time– maybe years.
There was four men carrying the paralytic, two would’ve been a strain, and three awkward. No–four is just right. Let us be a serious people, fulfilling our responsibility to our friend lying on the cot and to Jesus. We are all in this together. Now– it’s time to take your place and lift.