I’ve had people tell me that they don’t need Jesus—He is not their crutch. Even I succumb to these lies as they surface into my life and are exposed: sometimes spoken audibly; sometimes thought consciously; often portrayed visibly.
In reality, when we say or act as though we are capable of walking on our own—without need of such a crutch—we place ourselves in a position of deity. Realizing our need for Jesus is foundational to salvation.
So what is it: cross or crutch?
Mark 2 depicts a paralytic’s journey to Jesus. Without wheelchairs or scooters, paralysis immobilized this man and restricted him to his bed—truth be told: he was in need of more than just a crutch. With news that Jesus was coming to Capernaum where he lived, he knew he needed to get to Him. So four men gathered around the bedridden man and picked up his bed. Then they carried him to where Jesus was ministering. Jesus was known for His healings at this point. And this paralytic and his four friends were not the only ones trying to see Jesus during His visit to Capernaum. So once these men arrived, they found that the crowd was too impenetrable to reach Jesus, who was inside a building.
Desperate, the men carried this paralytic to the roof, broke through it and let down the man on his bed. Jesus saw the faith of this paralytic and healed him—in more ways than one. Jesus told him, “Son, your sins are forgiven you…arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
Jesus’ remark reveals His ability to forgive sins and heal the body. His remark reveals our need to be forgiven. This man did get up and walk, and He glorified God. He knew Jesus was the only one who could heal his paralyzed body, so in a desperate journey to reach the Healer and the Redeemer, he was healed.
As this paralytic man could not walk without Jesus, neither can we walk without Him. As he was paralyzed without the grace and mercy of Jesus, so are we. Brothers and sisters, Jesus is more than our crutch—we are paralyzed without Him. We are helpless. We cannot walk alone, nor can we stand alone.
If we do not know that we need Jesus, how can we love Him? If we do not realize the paralyzed state of our soul and never find ourselves desperate for the Redeemer’s touch, we will not be forgiven. But once we realize this truth, once we are sweetly broken beneath the blood-stained cross where Jesus paid our debt, we will experience the love of a Bridegroom that is deeper than the grave.