Thursday, March 12, 2015

God help us when we make an effort first ( part 1 ) - Bishop Nikiforos Theotokis

The God-man Jesus Christ observes and notices all things. He sees not only the things that are visible but also the things that are hidden —He even discerns the secret thoughts concealed within man's heart. If He was able to perceive what the Scribes were contemplating in their minds, then it was much easier for Him to detect what the people who were carrying the paralytic were up to. These people were holding the stretcher upon which the paralytic lay as they made their way to the entrance of the home wherein Jesus Christ was speaking.

Unable to enter the house through this or any other entrance (on account of the multitude of people that were gathered there) and bring the paralytic before the Lord Jesus Christ, they climbed up onto the roof.

"And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude,"says the divinely inspired Evangelist Luke, "they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus" (Lk. 5:19).

Unquestionably, ladders, ropes, and pieces of lumber were used, there was the sound of loud noise and banging, and many other things necessarily took place in order to lift the stretcher that held the paralytic up onto the roof. Who can doubt that Jesus Christ—Who detects and knows the hidden thoughts of man—both saw and heard all these things taking place? And yet, He remained silent. Eventually they climbed up onto the roof, they removed part of the house's covering and lowered the stretcher.

As this took place, even louder banging and yelling could be heard: commotion that inevitably is produced when people attempt to lower a heavy weight from a great height. Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ saw and heard everything; however, He remained silent. Only when He saw the paralytic lying on the stretcher before Him did He open His mouth and speak. Only then did He declare, "My child, your sins are forgiven" (Mk. 2:5), and in following, "Arise, and lift thy bed, and make your way to your home" (Mk. 2:11).

Was it not possible for Him Who knows everything and is capable of all things to have voiced these words when the people carrying the paralytic first arrived at the front door of the home, as soon as He saw that they were unable to enter the house, on account of the large crowd, despite their repeated attempts?

Jesus Christ observed not only everything the paralytic's companions were attempting to do, but He also was aware of these people's faith. Why then did He allow the paralytic to endure such a troublesome and tiring ordeal? Why did He make them who were carrying the paralytic go through such effort and only thereafter manifest His mercy and perform this amazing miracle?

This, my beloved Christians, serves as a holy lesson that is of much benefit for us both spiritually and physically. In this manner, the

God-man makes known to us that He comes to our aid in times of need and fulfills our requests only after we make an effort first and do everything that is in our power.
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