A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. (Mark 2:1-4)
Every time I read this passage I am confronted by two questions: First, do I have any faithful friends like that who would make a hole in someone’s roof because that was the only way to get me to Jesus? Second, am I a faithful friend like that to anyone in my life right now, for whom I would refuse to be denied in bringing them to Jesus? Powerful questions, don’t you think?
Faithful friends have a way of making things happen for the good of others and the glory of God. They refuse to be denied. Blocked doors will not keep them out. Crowded rooms will not cause them to shy away. And if they cannot bring someone to Jesus by the ordinary way that has been set before them, they will simply make a new way and not stop until they come before our Lord.
Luke, ever the careful historian, gave added insight into this event: “When they could not find a way to [to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus] because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd” (Luke 5:19). What great risk these men took to get their paralyzed friend before the Christ! Just the sound of them clambering onto the roof would have drawn the attention of those in the home. Then when they started digging and tearing away at the roof tiles, everyone below would have been looking up, probably with great indignation, as dust and pieces of the roof began to cascade down into the room below.
I simply cannot think of any better phrase than “faithful friends” when I read this account. They would let nothing stand in their way in getting their friend an audience with Jesus. And how did Jesus respond?
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” . . . Then Jesus said, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (Mark 2:5, 11)
Their “faithful faith” not only brought their friend physical healing, but spiritual healing as well. So the question I want to leave you with today is this: Do you have the kind of “faithful faith” that will push past any obstacle to bring someone you know before the Savior of the World? May that be the confession of all our lives as we look for opportunities to bless those God has put in our lives, to the glory of the praise of His name!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!