When Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered 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 paralytic, 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 and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. (Mark 2:1-4)
Every time I read this passage, I am confronted by two thought-provoking questions: First, do I have any sold-out friends like that — men who, finding the doorway blocked, would tear a hole in someone’s roof in order to get me in front of Jesus? Second, am I that kind of sold-out friend to anyone in my life right now, form whom I would refuse to be denied in bringing him before Jesus?
Sold-out saints have a way of making things happen for the good of others and the glory of God. They simply 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 make a new way. They will not stop until they come into the presence of our Lord and bring others with them.
Luke provided this account of the actions of the four friends: “When they could not find a way to [lay their friend 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 on the roof would have drawn the attention of those in the home. Then, when they started tearing away at the roof tiles, everyone below would have been looking up in consternation as dust and pieces of the roof began to cascade down into the room. Many in the crowd must have angrily wondered, “Who are these madmen who are hacking away at a perfectly good roof and interrupting the Teacher while He speaks?”
I cannot think of any better phrase than “sold-out saints” in reading this account. They would let nothing –neither physical barriers nor the disapproval of others — prevent them from 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 sold-out 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 “sold-out” faith that will refuse to let any barrier keep you from bringing 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 whom God has put into our lives, all to the glory and praise of His matchless name.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!