Summary: God took extreme measures to provide a healing for us. Shouldn’t we do the same for others?
What do you think would happen? Anybody other than Billy Graham, I think you know. Well, that’s pretty much what these four guys do in our scripture. They would have a hard enough time squeezing into the house themselves, but to try and carry in a guy on a stretcher, too? Moses wasn’t with them to part this sea of humanity. So they had to go to plan B.
As the commercial says, they were gonna “hit the roof”. They get up on the roof of this guy’s house and start ripping a hole in it. Now roofs in those days were made of beams about 3 feet apart and overlaid with reeds, branches, then covered with a layer of clay. So it wouldn’t be hard to tear a hole in this type of roof, but I’m sure you can just imagine what would happen.
If any of you have done remodeling requiring tearing down drywall, you know it’s not a clean job. There’s smaller particles and dust everywhere. Quite a mess. So these 4 are pulling away chunks of clay, bits of dirt and dried leaves falling all over those below.
The owner’s yelling up at them, “Quit tearing up my house! I’m gonna sue!” Others are covering themselves to keep the dirt off and giving them dirty looks, maybe yelling at them, too. This doesn’t stop these 4 men, though. They are taking extreme measures to bring their friend for a healing. They pay no mind to those below them yelling, getting dirtier and madder. They keep ripping apart the roof, making the hole larger and larger until it’s big enough to drop their friend on the stretcher through it, right down in front of the dirt covered Jesus.
The whole time this is going on, while everyone else is yelling, Jesus stops “speaking the word” and just sits there watching the event unfold, maybe with an amused look on his face. Maybe he’s just shaking his head and chuckling to himself at the boldness of these guys.
How would YOU be feeling if you were one of the crowd, though? You’re sitting here listening to the greatest preacher in the world and some yahoos tear open the roof over your head, interrupting the service, getting you all dirty. What if someone walked in here right now and disrupted our worship? How would you react?
Now, these guys destroy the house and then they proceed to ask Jesus for a favor! You’ve got to be kidding! But while the others are angry and yelling, Jesus looks beyond their destruction. Verse 5, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’.” Jesus welcomed the man on the mat and tends to his needs immediately. “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
We don’t know why this man on the stretcher was paralyzed. We do know that the medical dictionary in those days was a very short one. People then believed that all illnesses had one of two causes: You had either done something to make God mad and the illness was God’s punishment, or you were possessed by a demon. That’s it. So to stay healthy all you had to do was stay away from demons, don’t make God mad and everything will be okay.
Since “Son, your sins are forgiven” caused Jesus to be accused of blasphemy by the scribes, he then says, “Stand up and take your mat and walk.” And he stood up and went out before all of them. And the mood of the house changes from anger to amazement and joy. The four friends are up on the roof jumping around, excited because the extreme measures they had taken helped in their friend being healed.