Before starting this study, take a moment to read Mark 2:1-12. Although I’ll primarily be using the NIV version for the preparation of this study, you can read from whichever version you prefer.

Today’s passage might be a familiar one because of how well the images stick in our minds, even long after reading.

There’s a paralyzed man who needs healing. His friends can’t get through the crowds to bring him to Jesus, so they carry him up to the roof and then lower him down through it. The man ends up right where Jesus can see him.

Jesus sees the faith of these friends and tells the man his sins are forgiven. Then, because Jesus knows the minds of those watching, he asks them whether it is harder to forgive a man’s sins or heal him. To prove that he has the authority to forgive sins, he does the harder thing: he tells the man to get up and walk.

Faith of His Friends

The paralyzed man’s friends knew Jesus had a reputation for healing. They carried their friend to where Jesus was. When they saw the crowds, they didn’t even let the crowds stop them. They knew it wouldn’t be possible to make it on the ground, so they got creative.

This passage tells us that when Jesus saw their faith, he told the man his sins were forgiven. All too often, we look at faith as a personal thing. But this story shows us that the faith of these friends contributed to the man’s healing that day.

Their faith led to his forgiveness and healing.

Jesus’ Authority

While this healing meant the world to this one man, this passage isn’t just about one man’s healing. Jesus knew his opponents were watching and looking for a reason to discredit or arrest him.

Jesus also knew about the Old Testament guidelines for helping determine whether or not a person is a false prophet. Deuteronomy 18:22 tells us that if something a prophet says in God’s name doesn’t come true, then that person is a false prophet and can be ignored.

The Old Testament also tells God’s people that only God can forgive sins. Not even the high priest can do what Jesus does when Jesus tells the man his sins are forgiven.

Jesus does something no one is allowed to do except God. Then he tells the man to get up and walk. When the man gets up and walk, he is proven a true prophet. If he is a true prophet offering forgiveness of sins, then he must really be God.

When Jesus forgives the man’s sins and heals the man, he proves that he has the authority to do both.


This passage reminds us that who we surround ourselves with matters. When we find ourselves weak or broken, having friends who can faithfully carry us to Jesus (whether literally or metaphorically) can be the difference between life and death.

I went through an incredibly difficult time last year. Without the support and encouragement of my friends, I don’t know where I would be right now. While there are too many instances to share them all, one sticks out. After I received devastating news, I spent three hours sobbing as my friends (a husband and wife) listened. They prayed with me and helped me process my next steps over the next several weeks.

Surround yourself with people who will be that for you. They may be your family, your church, or friends you go searching for. Some of my most recent faithful friends were ones I found in a stitching group. When you’re looking for people to help you along your spiritual walk, God is faithful to bring the right people into your path.

Today, ask yourself whether you have faithful friends in your life. If so, think of each one by name and thank God for them today. Maybe even send them a message or call them to let them know how much you appreciate their voice in your life.

If you don’t have those faithful friends yet, ask God to guide you to a place where you will find them.