Summary: Four men formed a fellowship around a paralyzed man lying on a mat. Just as men were involved in a small caring community men are needed to care for their families and be spiritual leaders in the home.
Fellowship of the Mat
(Outline Theme resource – “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know them” by John Ortberg)
TOP 10 Lame-brained, Foot-in-mouth Compliments from a Husband to His Wife
10. “You look great for a woman who has had four kids.”
9. “This is almost as good as mom used to make.”
8. “Thanks for the new shirt. It’ll be great for working on the car.”
7. “That’s a great new hairdo, Honey. How much did it cost?”
6. “I never knew you could sing that close to pitch.”
5. “I like it when you wait until halftime to vacuum.”
4. “Whaddaya want me to say? Okay, you look fabulous.”
3. “This ... meatloaf is a neat color.”
2. “Yes, that actress is beautiful, but you’re pretty on the inside.”
1. “Wow, that makeup works wonders!”
As we celebrate Father’s Day today, I would like to share the following story about the effect that one father had on his family. This particular family had three small children who were determined to have a puppy. Mom protested because she knew that somehow or other, she would end up caring for the critter. True to form, the children solemnly promised that they would take care of it. Eventually, she relented and they brought their little puppy home. The children named him Danny and cared for him diligently - at first. But, sure enough, as time passed, Mom found herself becoming more and more responsible for taking care of the dog. Finally, she decided that the children were not living up to their promise so she began to search for a new home for Danny. When she found one and broke the news to the children, she was quite surprised that they had almost no reaction at all. One of them even said rather matter-of-factly, "We’ll miss him."
"I’m sure we will," Mom answered, "but he is too much work for one person and since I’m the one that has to do all the work, I say he goes."
"But," protested another child, "if he wouldn’t eat so much and wouldn’t be so messy, could we keep him?"
Mom held her ground, "It’s time to take Danny to his new home." Suddenly, with one voice and with tears in their eyes, the children exclaimed, "Danny? We thought you said Daddy!"
Luke 5:18, “Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him.”
Some men brought on a mat a man to Jesus. We don’t know a lot about the men carrying the paralyzed man and we don’t know a lot about the paralyzed man. Were they single, married, did they have children, young, middle age or old? We’re not told.
We do know that the four men formed a fellowship around a mat. They were:
Men of Compassion – they took time
Men of Courage – they were unstoppable
Men of Commitment – Jesus is the answer
Men on a Mission – They were on
a mission to take the man to Jesus
If anyone needed a friend the paralyzed man needed one – he was helpless. He depended on others to feed and cloth him and care for him. No rehab programs or experimental medical research programs were available. This man had to be resigned to lay by the road and beg for money. He had day after day on his 3 ‘ by 6 ‘ mat dreaming of better days when he might get well and get married and have children. He could only imagine what it would be like to have a healthy body. His whole world is a mat. He is a prisoner to his own lifeless body.
He did have a small fellowship group of men that he could call his friends. This best thing going for this lame man was his cheerful and positive attitude. People enjoyed being around him. His friends – made a difference in his life. In fact would never heard of this man had it not been for his four friends.
This paralyzed man lived a life of praise in spite of his circumstance.
The cripple man had to work extra hard to make friends. The assumption in Israel was that if a person suffered a physical handicap the person had brought on the problem on himself.
John 9 - The Disciples asked Jesus about a man born blind, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind.” 9:2
The cripple man had a quality of character that drew the four men to meet with him on a regular basis.
Maybe one or all of the friends of the man had heard or seen Jesus and witnessed a healing. So one day when they heard Jesus was coming to their town of Capernaum they wanted to see Jesus, even more they wanted to take their cripple friend to see Jesus. From their view Jesus was the man last resort for help. They convinced the cripple to see Jesus and arranged for a time they would pick him up the next day – latterly pick him up bed and all, to go see Jesus.