Summary: A sermon for the 7th Sunday after the Epiphany The Leper being lowered through the roof
7th Sunday after the Epiphany
"Faith Will find A Way"
2:1 ¶ And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
7 "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Rise, take up your pallet and walk’?
10 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" --he said to the paralytic--
11 "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
Our gospel lesson this morning centered around three different characters. Jesus, a man who was paralyzed, and his four friends. Jesus had just return to Capernaum and was probably in Peter’s house. He began to preach to the people and people gathered all about the house inside and outside to hear him preach.
Then it happened. Four men brought their friend who was paralyzed to Jesus. They got to the door and saw that they could not get in that way, so they came up with an unique idea. They would carry their friend to the roof, then remove some of the roofing and lower the paralyzed man down to Jesus.
These four men were really go
od friends of the paralyzed man. First of all they had to decide they would put their friend on a stretcher and carry him to Jesus. Second, when they saw the way was blocked, they came up with an ingenious idea of how to get their friend to Jesus, they carried him to the roof, removed part of the roof and lowered him down in front of Jesus.
Good friend indeed. I marvel at their friendship. I marvel at their faith, their belief that Jesus could do something for their friend. And when obstacles got in the way, their faith in Jesus allowed them to proceed, to carry on.
Their faith in Jesus is like the faith shown in the following:
"A group of small boys were playing sandlot baseball. One was asked the score, "ninety-eight to nothing in their favor," replied the breathless youngster.
"You are getting beat pretty badly, aren’t you?" said the bystander.
"No,no," the boy said with emphasis, "our side hasn’t even been to bat yet."
These four men had faith that if they could only bring their friend to Jesus, somehow, some way, Jesus would do something to help him. So their faith, their hope, their conviction, that if only Jesus could see their friend, something could be done. So no matter the difficulty, they were willing to do their level best to get their friend to Jesus.
And they did get their friend to Jesus. And notice something very special in the text. It says: they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith,
They let down the pallet. The text does not say that they shouted to Jesus, heal our friend, it does not say that asked Jesus to do anything. They just let down the stretcher, period.
This was faith in the utmost. They did not ask Jesus to do anything, they did not beg, they did not persuade Jesus to act. They just lowered down their friend in front of Jesus and let what would happen, happen, period.
Their faith must of been working over time. First to have the courage to gather up their friend to take him to Jesus, second, to get the idea of taking him to the roof and removing part of the roof and lowering their friend down to Jesus, with not word from them, just their actions.
Sometimes when things seem to be the roughest, our faith calls up a reserve of energy, or power inside of us to handle the situation.