Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 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 the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralytic, “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… “We have never seen anything like this!”
Kurt Holm, Pastor
The Creek Covenant Church (Walnut Creek)
Desperate. It’s not a place I like to be. It conveys a sense of weakness and helplessness. It’s a feeling of emptiness, which I guess is the prerequisite for desperation. Desperation is an overwhelming need in my life that is beyond my ability to meet. Our world would define desperation as something to be avoided at all costs. Who wants to appear so needy and out of control? Not me. However, contrary to the way we think, desperation is not a bad thing. From a spiritual perspective, there are promises of God that cannot be experienced apart from a sense of desperation. Desperate people show extreme urgency, intensity and courage.
Take, for example, these friends of the paralyzed man. Evidently they heard about the teachings of Jesus. How he said he had come to seek and save the lost. How he said the Shepherd would leave the ninety nine sheep to go and find the one missing. How he said he was the Physician who had come for the sick. They concluded that Jesus had come for the empty, needy, broken, lost, hurting, and desperate people.
Blessed are the desperate for they will push through the crowd and tear the roof off – if and when necessary – whatever it takes to get face to face with Jesus. Do I have a measure of desperation concerning the gap between what God has available to me and my experience? When we see the life available to us in scripture and the absence of spiritual power experienced in our own lives, it should stir a sense of emptiness within us… a sense of desperation.
Blessed are the desperate for they will do whatever it takes to get what God has promised them. They are desperate beyond comfort, beyond reputation, beyond tradition, beyond reason, beyond criticism. Is my faith so bold? How about yours?
Jesus, I’m so tired of my emptiness, so I give you my desperateness. I need your promise of life today. Raise me up by your strength. Amen.