If you read one of my earlier articles, you know about the leak in our kitchen ceiling that I have to fix. After much planning and strategy (and a tiny bit of procrastination), I cut out a hole in the drywall next to the recessed lighting to begin the process and in doing so was reminded of Mark chapter 2:1-12, in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man.
In Mark 2, Jesus returns to Capernaum to the delight of many. So many in fact, that the people had packed the dwelling where he was, and the entire area around it, blocking the doors and windows. Four men had carried a paralyzed man to see Jesus, in hopes that he would be healed. But there was no room to bring the man in to see Him, so they climbed up to the roof, dug a hole through the layers of mud and sticks, and lowered the man down inside. This is the type of plan that four men would come up with.
Imagine the hope of the paralytic, his four friends and the curiosity of the crowd that had gathered. Imagine the concern of the person who owned the dwelling at seeing this hole open up in his ceiling. This was no ordinary dinner party. And then, imagine the amazement of the people at hearing the words Jesus spoke to the paralytic upon being lowered into the home: “Son, your sins are forgiven” (New Living Transalation of “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee”). Some teachers of The Law (scribes) were shocked and quite concerned that Jesus had proclaimed this forgiveness, calling it blasphemey. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” they asked themselves. Jesus knew they were concerned and explained that the “Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”.
Then it happened. This man, who was probably well known in the town, this paralytic who probably spent most of his time being hauled around by friends, was told by Jesus to get up, pick up his mat and go home. And he did just that. After having been toted to this house, lowered down through a roof, probably expecting to be beaten up by the owner of the home, he was healed. The people had “never seen anything like this”.
Now I don’t think I could squeeze a paralytic man through the hole in my ceiling, nor do I think it would be in my best interest to do so as my wife would find it quite odd (the kids would laugh at me as usual), but there is merit in recalling this event. The faith and fellowship that surrounded the paralytic man is something very rare in our time. Would I do this for one of my friends? You bet I would. Would they do it for me? Maybe.
Who are you going to open a hole in a roof for? Who would dig a hole in a roof for you? As Christians, we have become sedate in our faith. We are too complacent. We all need to find someone to bring to Jesus, even if it means digging a hole in the roof to get them there.