Summary: God took extreme measures to provide a healing for us. Shouldn’t we do the same for others?
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.
These four friends had the faith to believe that Jesus would welcome them and that Jesus could change their friend’s life. They took a bold step of faith, ignoring all the insults, and outrage thrown at them to make sure their friend had a chance for a healing. They had a faith that refused to die in the face of obstacles.
Their friend couldn’t walk – so they carried him
The crowd blocked their access to Jesus – they went around them
The roof was in the way – they ripped a hole in it
They were verbally abused – they closed their ears and continued
That is called spiritual determination. They would not let anything prevent them from getting their friend an opportunity for a healing. Do we have that kind of spiritual determination today?
We all have people we know, friends, neighbors, co-workers, family members who are paralyzed, who are in need of a healing. What are we doing to see that they have a chance for that healing? Are we inviting them to come to church with us? Or are we blocking the doors of our church with our attitudes? When strangers come in to worship with us, do we make them feel welcome so they know that they have come to a place of healing? Or do they feel it’s SRO and there’s no room for them?