Take Your Mat And…

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

 Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, “He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”

 Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.”

And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

Mark 2: 1-12

I’ve thought so much about this story in the last year.  I’ve written a good bit about it: the man on the mat, the friends who carried him, how he must have felt to see their exhaustion, how humbled and thankful he must have been to see their love for him.

Today, I see new words in the story.

When Jesus healed the man, he said, “Take your mat, and go home.”

I cannot claim this discovery; it came in a letter from a friend.

“In that parable with the man on the mat that you have referred to so compellingly, when the man is healed, he gets up and walks. Just walks.

None of this running around, carrying the next guy, or climbing up the rope from which he was lowered. Jesus tells him to go home. Maybe Jesus knew that the man on the mat would still need to be at home gathering strength.

So I pray that you are gathering strength. I pray that you are finding your feet under you, and making your way carefully home.

And while I stand amazed at God’s miracle in you, I’ll just keep praying.

Mat or no mat, temporarily paralyzed or in full function, year one or year two, writing beautifully or quietly reflecting, whatever your status is this year, Tricia, I am praying for you.”

I am blessed, humbled, loved, overcome.


3 thoughts on “Take Your Mat And…

  1. dear tricia..i have always loved this story and then one day when i heard greater vision sang, “my name is lazarus”,my heart overflowed with joy..i have always been one that listens to every word in a song…i told my sister, betty as we sat at a concert and gerald wolfe sang this song that was written by his fellow singer, rodney griffith,,,,i told betty…”betty the tune is great but betty LISTEN to the words!”… incredible tricia and here they are..you can fine greater vision singing this hymn on you tube..
    One day, four men brought a crippled man to Jesus
    Still and lifeless, he lay upon his bed
    He had not moved since he was just a baby
    Still he longed to become a normal man

    Now we don’t know much about the men that carried
    The corners of his tattered bed that day
    But if we may create an illustration
    We’ll see what these men might have had to say

    Suppose that first man said, “I hate to doubt it
    For Jesus touched my eyes when I was blind
    He made me see and there’s no doubt about it
    But this man’s needs are more serious than mine”

    Suppose that second man said, “No need to bother
    This man’s condition will remain the same
    Though Jesus touched my hand when it was withered
    I don’t believe He can heal a man so lame”

    Suppose that third man said, “I hate to question
    But no one here is more skeptical than me
    Though Jesus cleansed me when I was a leper
    This helpless man will never walk, you see”

    Then every eye was turned to the fourth man
    To see how he might criticize and doubt
    But all three men were startled with amazement
    When that fourth man stopped and said his name out loud

    He said, “My name is Lazarus, could I testify?
    My name is Lazarus, it feels good to be alive
    When I in chains of death was bound
    This man named Jesus called me out
    If you think your little problem is too big for Him to solve
    Take it from the one who’s heard the mighty voice of God
    A living testimony of His death-defying touch, my name is Lazarus”t

    rodney writes some great songs…another story that i love is the lady at the well…i can’t find it on you tube, but the title of it is so full of meaning…”i asked him for water, he gave me the WELL”!

    what a saviour we have dear tricia and what a encouragement you are to me when i read your posts…love terry

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