I spend a great deal of my time as a pastor in ministry to a great many hurting people. It is a wonderful privilege to be used by God in the lives of others and to help them fix their eyes on Jesus in the midst of their storms.
Scripture tells us that Christ is the Friend who sticks closer to us than a brother. We have no need to rip through a roof to get to Him who has promised never to leave us or forsake us, but some situations seem so desperate; I know I would do it if I thought I had to, and I’m sure you would too.
One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.When they could not find a way to do this 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, right in front of Jesus.When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:17-19)
Take a moment to marinate in the great faith in this passage—not only the faith of the paralyzed man, but also that of his friends, who were willing to rip through the roof to get their friend to Jesus.This is a powerful challenge in this passage directed at you and me!
In the days when Jesus walked the earth, the homes were generally made of stone with flat roofs constructed of a mixture of straw and mud.On an outside wall you could find a stairway that led to the roof.The friends of the paralyzed man were filled with so much faith in Jesus that when they could not find a way to get to Jesus because of the crowd, they climbed the stairs and ripped through the roof to get the man to their Redeemer.
You have heard of the power of faith as small as a mustard seed (Luke 17:6).Well, this is the faith as big as a roof-ripping!Jesus responded to their faith with forgiveness and healing.Do you see how the faith of the friends of the paralyzed man impacted his life?They refused to let anything stand in their way of bringing their friend to Jesus.
So the question we all must ask ourselves is this: “What kind of faith do I demonstrate when it comes to the friends and family members who have never trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord?”
To be sure, we are not the ones responsible for another’s salvation.Only Jesus saves!But God is pleased to use means, and that is what we are in the hands of the Almighty: a foreordained means for His foreordained ends.Scripture tells us we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Are we willing to be used by God in the lives of others to bring them to Jesus?Are we willing to get past any of the obstacles that stand in our way? Those obstacles might be . . .
Think about this:God had ordained that paralyzed man to be saved through the faith of his friends.God has also ordained some to be saved through you.The key is that we simply are faithful to do what God has called us to do and leave the results up to Him.We are called by God to be used of God as instruments for the salvation of others.The only thing left for us to do is to overcome every obstacle that stands in the way of answering that call.
Are you ready for some roof-ripping?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!