How “acting as if” makes way for a miracle?

The formerly paralyzed man walks!

The crowd inside the house was packed tight. And now four hard-working, faith-filled, determined men had created a hole in the roof so as to lower their paralyzed friend into Jesus’ presence. These friends were certain that Jesus would heal their buddy.

They chose to act as if it were already true.

I have read this story countless times. (It’s what I do when I am writing Rotation lessons.) I even will find myself returning to the story, reading it again, after the lesson is complete. Why?

Because usually I discover a new insight.

And sure enough I did. Something occurred to me that I hadn’t previously considered.

When Jesus says to the lame man:

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Get up, take your mat and go home.

What would have happened if the lame man hadn’t gotten up?

What if he was too afraid?
(He could fall flat on his face, and make a spectacle of himself!)

I had discovered another miracle in this story! The story that already contained several miracles — the industrious nature of the four friends, who overcame hardships to take a friend to Jesus, and the miracle of sins being forgiven and of course, the miracle of a previously paralyzed man able to walk! And now this miracle:

The lame man had to get up. He had to act as if the miracle were true.

'Immediately the paralyzed man stood up. He took his mat and walked out. (Mark 2:12)

Acting on a truth is what is needed for it to actually become your truth.

What is stopping you? Can your faith be an instrument that helps someone “get to” Jesus?

What about your kids?

Act as if your child is a spiritual being. (Because we are all spiritual beings!)
Act as if your child is interested in talking about faith.
Act as if you will discover something new.

You need to be brave — to “act as if” — to take part in miracles – however big or small they may be.

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Photo credits:
The lame man walks is a screenshot from a video posted by Bible Society Australia, who licensed their work under a Creative Commons (BY-NC 2.0) License.

Four Friends: Family Talk Time… and an activity!

Here’s an activity to do with your family, and questions to discuss, about our current Rotation on four friends who bring a lame man to Jesus.

Make cups of hot cocoa but leave out the sugar. Don’t say anything about your omission but allow everyone a chance to sample their cocoa.

Ask: What do you suppose is missing?
I am wondering if cocoa without sugar is sort of like our lives without Jesus?
I wonder what our lives would be like without Jesus’ love?

Pass around a sugar bowl and allow everyone to stir in to their cup, perhaps two tablespoons of sugar. After everyone has tasted their adjusted cocoa…
Ask: How does it taste now?

a boy shows his approval over hot cocoa

Ask: I wonder how adding sugar to your cocoa, is like adding Jesus’ love to your life?
How does having Jesus as your friend make life sweeter?
Say: Let’s read about a time when a man who was paralyzed (he couldn’t walk) had a sweetened life because he met Jesus.

Read Mark 2:1-12. Alternately, ask your kids to help you tell the story. Check the Bible for accuracy.

Ask: Would the man likely have been able to see Jesus without his friends help?
How has someone helped you recently and made your life sweeter?
What are ways that our helping other people is like bringing them to Jesus?
Are there other ways that we can “bring” people to Jesus by helping them?

Say: Those four friends had a lot of faith in Jesus. Jesus wants us to use our own faith to help spread Jesus’ sweet love.

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Photo credits:
Wonderful cocoa by woodleywonderworks on Flickr, licensed under: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic