by Rev. Dr. Laishi Bwalya

Mark’s gospel tells us the story of when Jesus returned to Capernaum. When the people discovered the house where he was staying, they gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door.

Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man. They were relentless in seeking Jesus. We don’t know much about the relationships between these four and the paralyzed man, but we do know their efforts in bringing their friend to the Lord Jesus. They began to be part of the solution for their friend who needed help.

Here are some of the characteristics of these four men as being a part of the solution…

DETERMINATION – The first characteristic we can learn from these men was determination. It means firmness of purpose, decision and will. These four men carried this man to the Lord Jesus. We don’t know how far or how long they carried their friend. They didn’t leave their friend behind. Let us be men and women of determination. Determination was part of the solution.

PERSISTENCE – The second characteristic that we learn from these men is their persistence. When the four men arrived at the house where Jesus was speaking they found it too crowded to bring their friend inside. They could’ve easily gotten discouraged, but they did not go back. They persisted. They carried on because they knew how important it was to get the paralyzed man to the Lord Jesus. Persistence was part of the solution for these friends, we need Persistence in our teams in order to be part of the solution.

COMMITMENT – The third characteristic that we learn from the four men is commitment. These men were so committed to see Jesus that they dug a hole through the roof of the home and lowered their friend down with ropes. They did whatever it took for that to happen. They did not care how the owner of the house would react nor were they concerned about the cost of the repairs. We need Commitment to break the barriers in order to be part of the solution.

FAITH – Another characteristic we can take from these four men is faith. The Bible tells us in Mark 2 verse 5 that when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “child, your sins are forgiven.” Not only did Jesus forgive his sins, he also healed him. Jesus saw their faith in their devotion to see him. Faith which is positive, active, and zealous makes things happen, makes the impossible possible and turns dream into reality. We need Faith to be part of the solution.

CARE – The fifth characteristic that we can learn from the four men is care. These men exhibited compassion and a concern for their friend. They recognized that their friend had a need, and they wanted to help. These four friends believed that if they could get their friend to Jesus, he would make a difference in his life.  Care was a part of the solution.

UNITY – The last characteristic that we can learn from these men is unity. These men were of one mind. They were united in bringing their friend to Jesus. What would have happened if one of them decided to give up? In Zambia, we sing ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. We need Unity to be part of the solution.

The African wisdom says, ‘alone I will go fast, but together we will go far’. As publishing teams in our various places, let us go far in our work.