He Saw Their Faith

The Palsied Man Let Down through the Roof” by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

He stared up at the ceiling, His teaching interrupted by the noise of the roof being disassembled. The crowd gathered around Him was no doubt startled by what was happening. But He adapted quickly to the new circumstances. As four men lowered their paralyzed friend into the room, Jesus saw not a disturbance but an act of faith.

Elder James W. McConkie described the situation in these terms:

Consider that in the middle of what must have been a serious teaching moment, Jesus hears a scratching noise, looks up, and sees a growing hole in the ceiling as dust and thatch fall into the room. A paralyzed man on a bed is then lowered to the floor. Remarkably, Jesus discerns that this is not an interruption but rather something that matters….

Rather than chastise or dismiss the four who made the hole…, the scripture tells us that “Jesus saw their faith.”

And They Sought to See Jesus Who He Was,” General Conference, October 2022

These four men had heard that Jesus was in Capernaum, and they had heard of the miraculous healings he had performed. If they could only transport their friend to Jesus, surely he would be healed.

But the house where Jesus was teaching was crowded. There was no way to get to Him. With determination, they tried another approach. Lifting their friend onto the house, “they uncovered the roof where [Jesus] was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay” (Mark 2:4; see also Luke 5:19).

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5; see also Luke 5:20). He also said, “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house” (Mark 2:11, Luke 5:24).

Elder McConkie listed several lessons he has learned from this story:

  1. “When we try to help someone we love come unto Christ, we can do so with confidence that He has the capacity to lift the burden of sin and to forgive.”
  2. “When we bring physical, emotional, or other illnesses to Christ, we can do so knowing He has the power to heal and comfort.”
  3. “When we make effort like the four to bring others to Christ, we can do so with certainty that He sees our true intentions and will appropriately honor them.”

After persecuting Alma and Amulek in the city of Ammonihah and stirring up the crowd, which resulted in violence and many deaths, Zeezrom lay in a bed in Sidom “with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness” (Alma 15:3). When he learned that Alma and Amulek were in the city, he might have felt increased guilt and fear, but instead “his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him” (Alma 15:4). He trusted not only in their ability to heal him but in their willingness to do so. In response, “they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them” (Alma 15:5). Alma took him by the hand and healed him, and “Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk” (Alma 15:11).

God loves us and will respond to our acts of faith. We don’t need to worry about being misunderstood or ignored. He loves us and loves to see us exercise faith in Him.

Today, I will pray for myself and for those I love. I will exercise faith throughout the day, trusting that God will respond to that faith.

2 thoughts on “He Saw Their Faith

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  1. This one brought a tear to my eye. I think these posts compiled would make a wonderful inspirational book.


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