Mark 2:1-12 is familiar to almost everyone, even people who have never read the Bible or go to church. One subliminal message is that Satan contents himself by surrounding Jesus with flattery, noise, and crowds. It’s as if there is a concerted effort to do whatever it takes to block him from view, and confuse the ones who genuinely seek him. Don’t forget the leper from Mark 1:40-45. He’s a contrast to the true faith demonstrated by the paralytic, and especially his friends. The leper came in boldness, alone and calling out to Jesus with words of flattery. He was tested, found disobedient, and proved to be an object of compassion alone. The paralytic was brought in silent meekness, lowered down by friends in front of everyone. He was trusted by Jesus, obedient, and proved to be an object of spiritual salvation as well as physical healing. It cries out to anyone who can hear that coming to Christ results in profoundly different outcomes. Desperation, enthusiasm, fascination, and infatuation are not the same as repentance, faith, trust, and obedience. Being lowered down in life might be the most gracious thing the Lord can do. It humbles us. It wakes us up to our own helplessness. Affliction makes us look to Jesus with hope. It’s the only reason some will ever seek him. Unfortunately spiritual sickness is not motivating. Difficult circumstances provide the window of opportunity. Once the crisis passes, they easily drift back into the same patterns they were so comfortable in before. When we encounter someone who has been brought low, let’s agree to offer a word of hope that extends far beyond the physical.