“And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men”. (Mark 2:3)
People came to Jesus for all sorts of reasons. Some wanted to debate matters of theology with him, and so the scribes and pharisees would gather around him with their questions. Some no doubt wanted to hear his teaching, and so gathered to hear him as he ‘taught as one with authority’. Jesus was, for them, the great teacher who would bring the Scriptures to life as they listened. The great teller of parables which stuck in their minds and slowly revealed their point
Those who came closest, though, were the ones who knew their need of him. The ones who were at a point of their life when they realised that they did not have all the resources. Zacchaeus, the tax collecter who climbed the tree to see Jesus. The woman caught in adultery who faced the mob with the stones. The paralysed man who was let down through the roof by his friends. It wasn’t that they wanted something from Jesus, they needed something. They placed their faith in him.
In our day and age self-reliance is trumpeted, and self-help abounds. There is a danger in this, since the point of the Christian faith is a reliance upon God. Jesus once taught: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). To acknowledge your need of God is not to be weak. It is simply to be honest.