Jesus Heals a Paralytic | Matt Dawson
Scripture: Mark 2:1-5
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.
They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
This has always been one of my favorite stories. I’m not sure why I love it so much, but I always tend to notice when I read this story just how much this guys friends are willing to do to get him to Jesus.
I know it just says “4 guys” and they could be servants. They could be employees. They could be family members. However, I like to think of these guys as friends. We have reason to believe that this man was not always paralyzed. I like to imagine that he was a guy full of life and vigor – able to do for his friends as they are doing for him know. I picture a small group of men who have served together…. through thick and thin – and now there buddy is hurt. Now, he’s experiencing pain and a life of suffering if they can’t do something about it.
I think servants would have stopped when they realized that they couldn’t get in. I think employees would have probably just parked outside of the house and waited with him until folks started to clear out of the house. NOT HIS FRIENDS. Not his brothers in life… they didn’t let the crowded place stop them from reaching Jesus. They wouldn’t stop until their friend had the opportunity to be healed… to get his life back. So with incredible effort and creativity – they scaled a house, ripped through the roof and got him to Jesus.
Am I this kind of friend? I wonder this sometimes. I think I am, but then again I’m kind of selfish. I like doing “my” thing and struggle to put my friends needs ahead of mine. Would I have done EVERYTHING I COULD DO in that moment to help a friend get what he needed most? Or would I let obstacles slow me down and make me feel like “we gave it our best effort” or “we sure did try” attitude that make us stop short of going the extra mile.
I want to be this kind of friend. One that doesn’t take no for an answer. I want to be someone who is willing to RISK for my friends. To do things that others might think are crazy. I want to be one who is willing to scale a wall – rip through a guys roof and do what others are unwilling to do to help a friend in need. That’s the kind of friend I want to be!
Let’s face it – that’s the kind of friend that Jesus is described as in the NT. A friend that sticks closer than a brother – one that is willing to give up his life… for His friends.
Dear Jesus, you are a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Help me be that kind of friend to others. Give me a discerning spirit that knows when my friends are in need, and give me the courage to boldly ask others for help when I’m in need.
Help me put others needs above my own, and give me the strength to RISK for my brothers when the time comes.
It’s only by your power and grace that I will overcome my selfishness and be one of those guys on the roof – Jesus help me be a better friend.