“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man 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.’ The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, ‘Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ So he said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’”
How far are you willing to go to get those you love to Jesus?
These guys were willing to do whatever it took.
Their friend was paralyzed and lying on a bed. What did that mean? Was he a paraplegic? Was he a quadriplegic? Had he been declared hopeless? Had he been given even a sliver of evidence that he would one day walk? Did he have that dream or had that dream died as his muscles withered? We aren’t sure, but we know his friends were carrying him on a bed. They were determined to get him to Jesus.
When they got there, the crowd was huge and the house was small. They couldn’t maneuver their way through that crowd even though they tried.
But that wasn’t about to stop them. No door was open. No window offered entrance. But there was a roof. They suddenly had the plan. They would tear up the roof.
As far as we can see, they didn’t ask for permission. In this case it was going to be better to ask for forgiveness. They went for it. They removed everything that covered the house. It had kept out the rain, but it would not keep out the men. It must not have taken them too long. Once on the task, they pulled, dug, clawed, and removed the debris. The hole was big enough to let their friend through. So, there he was, right in front of the Teacher.
What are you willing to do to get your friends to Jesus? You probably don’t have to climb on a roof. But are you willing to go to their front door to ask them to church? You probably don’t have to claw through debris. But are you willing to dig through the dirt of people’s lives to help them to see they are in need of a Savior? You probably don’t have to lower your friend on a mat. But are you willing to walk with them to the front of the church to meet Jesus?
Those friends heard life changing words. Their friend was healed, but something even greater happened. His sins had been forgiven.
What are we willing to do to get our friends to Jesus?