This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Persistence Is Rewarded


In 2019, Marine veteran Micah Herndon ran the Boston Marathon to pay tribute to his fallen fellow Marines, Mark Juarez, Matthew Ballard, and Rupert Hamer. The three men had lost their lives during a bombing in Afghanistan in 2010. Herndon wore their names across his shoe laces as he ran. After 22 miles, Herndon’s legs began to give out. He continued to run, but his legs gave way near the finish line and the Marine collapsed. Yet Herndon, age 31, would not be stopped. He crawled the last several yards to cross the finish line.

Persistence. For Micah Herndon, it meant finishing his third marathon. For the four men in today’s passage it meant helping their paralytic friend see Jesus. It would have been easy for these friends to give up when they saw the enormous crowd surrounding Jesus. But their persistence paid off, and Jesus healed their friend. Jesus also said something that surprised the people who were watching. To the paralytic man, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (v. 5).

The religious teachers who were scrutinizing everything Jesus said and did declared His words blasphemous. But throughout this passage, Jesus demonstrated that He was not about following religious tradition. Instead, He was doing something new. He was forgiving sin. He was calling a tax collector to be His disciple (vv. 13–17). He was eating with sinners. He and His disciples were not fasting like others.

Jesus clearly demonstrated that He was about something different. He was not limited to human tradition that would keep someone like the paralytic from coming to Him. With everything He said and did, He was presenting grace. Jesus refused to put the new wine of His truth into the old wineskins valued by the Jewish authorities.

Apply the Word

Today, remember our country’s wounded and fallen veterans and their families, as well as those with physical health challenges. Pray for the grace, mercy, and strength of Christ to fill their lives. Ask God to give your church wisdom on how to serve wounded and physically challenged saints in your midst, so they can experience His love for them.

BY Eric C. Redmond

Eric C. Redmond serves as an assistant professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

Browse Devotions by Date