Serving others creates value. It creates value in us and the value of Jesus living in and through us.
In the book of Mark 2, there is a very familiar story that you hear a lot about, the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man lowered by his friends from an opening in the roof. Jesus had returned to Capernaum, and many had gathered to see Him. There was a large crowd inside and outside of the house. There was a group of men who had a paralyzed friend. Four of the men carried their friend through the streets to the house where Jesus was preaching. We don’t know for sure, but the way they carried him must have been awkward and heavy. They may have had a distance to go carrying their friend. In their great faith, they did it. Carrying their friend to freedom, freedom of sins and physical limitations.
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
The men dug a hole in the roof of the house and lowered their friend. I imagine that there were dust and chunks of roofs falling into the room where Jesus preached. It couldn’t have been easy, quiet or clean. These friends went above and beyond their duty as friends. They carried a heavy man a great distance and destructed a man’s house without thought of what others may think or say. Without complaint or excuses. There were others in the room who were not strong in their beliefs of Jesus’ authority. In their thoughts, they questioned His words.
“Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2: 8-12.
The paralyzed man was healed, because of the faith and commitment of his friends. What if the friends had decided that it was too much work to take the man the distance needed to meet Jesus? What if they had given up on their journey because it was too far or the man was too heavy? What if they stopped because it wasn’t how they thought it was too difficult to make their way through the crowd? What if they stopped because it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be? Their friend wouldn’t have been healed; he wouldn’t have known Jesus.
Challenges, twists, and turns occur when trying to bridge the gap for others. Letting our love of Jesus and His love for us drive us to move from observing to serving helps others find the God of Love. The men who took the paralytic to Jesus made a way because of their belief in the power of Jesus and the love of their friend.
This summer David and I asked to help a classroom in a neighborhood school by supplying the teacher with school supplies for the kids. When talking with the other wives with the team they wanted to get involved. Then the Pirate’s community service department heard what we were doing and added to the supplies. On Wednesday, Roberto Clemente Day, the Clemente family along with Pirates players, coaches, wives and employees delivered 700 backpacks of school supplies to the neighborhood school. We went from observing to serving.
There are seasons of our lives when serving is contained in the walls of our home with our children. Also, sometimes of being able to reach out once a year in the community is all the extra time we have but more in each of our encounters with friends. Serving can present itself in many different fashions always glorifying God’s work
Committing to the work in the season where we live now, never giving up, and not letting failed expectations disappoint us allows the work of God in and through us to be revealed to others. Get involved in the exchange.
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