Down and Out--On a Mat
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Down and Out--On a Mat

My hubby tweaked his back this weekend. At first, it was a bit ouchy, but he was in so much pain yesterday he could barely move. Nothing was comfortable. Not the bed. Not the couch. Not the floor-- except with my cushioned exercise mat. So, he slept in the living room on the floor, not because we had a fight, rather because of severe pain. As he lay there, I read devotions with him while he winced and grimaced. This scene brought to mind about Jesus telling several paralytics to take up their mats and walk.I couldn't pick him up to take him to Jesus for healing,but instead I lifted him up in prayer to Jesus for healing. Let me share this particular account from Scripture that came to mind.


Jesus had been preaching and healing around the region of Galilee, but His fame spread quickly by the man healed earlier of leprosy. It was hard for Him to go anywhere without a huge crowd around him, so he retreated to lonely places. Even then He drew attention. At one point, Jesus decided to go to Peter and Andrew's house in Capernaum on the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee. Even then, people started filling up the house to hear His teaching. So many people had gathered in and around the house, no one could get through the door.

Four men with a paralyzed man on a mat came to the house hoping to see Jesus so He could heal their friend they carried to Him.  There was no way they could take him through the door, so someone got a bright idea: Let's lower him through the roof in front of Jesus!  Now they weren't ripping off shingles, wood decking, etc. They pulled back thatching and removed a couple of planks, then carefully lowered their friend down in front of Jesus! I can imagine  dust and debri falling from the ceiling, then bright sunlight coming in through the hole. Suddenly, a mat with the imprint of a body on the upper side carefully, haltingly came down right in front of Jesus until he rested on the dirt floor. Jesus, impressed with their ingenuity and persistence saw tremendous faith in this loving act.
photo from http://www.jesus-story.net/.

I can imagine people thinking, "Who in the world do they think they are? They are interrupting our lesson!" Jesus could have told themto set an appointment; His office hours were over. Instead, He told the man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (v..5b) This doesn't mean the man's sins were the cause of his physical condition. Jesus appears to be taking the time to use a teachable moment for everyone, especially the religious "know-it-alls" in the crowd. We all have sins that need forgiven (Romans 3:23). Of course, the Pharisees were indignant in their usual fashion . Before they could utter a word, Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, “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.” (v.v.8-11) That man didn't waste time. He got up, picked up his mat as he was told, and walked out! No where in this account do you see Jesus even touch the man. He didn't use Reiki, reflexology, or essential oils. It was simply by His word. What an amazing testimony to the power of Jesus Christ!

Well, my hubby got up the morning, very carefully, but still in pain. He didn't take up his mat, pillow, or blanket because getting down to pick them up wasn't wise. That was my job. We trust the Lord to bring healing through whatever means He leads us to use without contradicting God's Word.

We may not be able to take our friends and family to place at the feet of Jesus for healing, but we can confidently lift them up to Him in prayer. We can trust whatever type of healing He has in store for them-physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual- will happen. Their healing will be a testimony to the power of Christ!

May God bless you!



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