And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. —Luke 5:20
Perhaps you have heard the phrase “Faith can move mountains.” Jesus actually talks about faith that strong later in his ministry (see Mark 11:22-25). I’ve always marveled at that phrase. I’ve spent considerable time in the mountains. I’ve lived near the Rockies, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Cascades in the western United States. Mountains are huge. They are ancient geological barriers that can weather any storm. They are solid and enduring, strong and unyielding.
But faith in Jesus is even stronger and bigger. The faith of the friends in this passage is strong enough to tear apart a roof to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, because they know he can heal their friend. Jesus is so moved by their faith that he does what they want him to do—and he doesn’t even criticize them for damaging the roof! The amazing thing is that Jesus does even more than they have hoped. He forgives the man’s sins as well as healing him from paralysis. In this way the friends’ faith becomes an example to everyone there who has come to see Jesus.
Faith can move people to do incredible things. And in response, Jesus can make huge impacts in this world. He can heal and forgive. He can change the heart of an individual or the hearts an entire group of people. This is all because of his ability to see faith in anyone who comes to him, whether they walk or are carried by their friends.