Summary: Like the paralytic in Mark 2, school kids need someone to hold the four ropes for their encouragement and success in school.
Holding the Rope
One of the stories we read in VBS was the story of the man who was completely helpless. He couldn’t walk; he couldn’t use his hands. The only way he could get anywhere was when his friends carried him.
Then the news got around that Jesus was healing people. The Bible says Jesus healed a woman with a fever. He healed a man with leprosy. He healed people with all kinds of diseases. And the man’s friends said, “Let’s take our friend to Jesus.”
So, these four friends put him on a blanket or mat or something and carried him to the door of the house where Jesus was telling people about God. But guess what? The house was so full of people that they couldn’t get in. I imagine they went to the front door and then to the back door and even looked in the window, but it was so packed they could not get in.
Now, like most houses there, this house was built with a flat roof and an outside stair case. So, do you know what these men did? They carried the man up the stairs to the top of the roof. They knew they had to find a way to get their friend before Jesus. And in a moment of desperation, they tore the roof off (SONWORLD VBS song) and let him down with ropes right in front of Jesus. Can you imagine that? And Jesus changed that man’s life.
Let me say right here that the most important thing you can do in life is to get to Jesus. You may not be physically sick, but you might have something eating out your insides– anger, guilt, grief. You may not be paralyzed physically, but you may be stuck in life, spinning your wheels, going nowhere, scared stiff that your life is going to end without accomplishing anything.
Just last week I was talking with a woman who lived as a drug addict for 22 years. She tried all the drugs. She knew she was in a hole and getting nowhere. No matter what she did, she could not get herself out the madness she was experiencing. Then one night, she cried out to Jesus to change her and He did. And she told me that when she got up the next morning, it was a different day for her. She was able to think clearly. And she realized all the bad things she had done to herself and to her family.
Jesus changed her and now she has her driver’s license, her GED, and a job. She mentors kids. And she is active in her church. She has been clean for 17 years.
If you are sick inside, if you are so paralyzed you can’t get anywhere, you need to get to Jesus, even if someone has to carry you. He can forgive your sin. He can fill you with purpose. He can change your life.
That is the most important part of this story. But there is another part of this story that I’d like to talk about. And that is the four friends who held the ropes for him.
You kids are beginning a new school year. I’m sure you have been busy getting your backpacks in order, checking your supplies, and thinking about the new year. No matter where you go to school or what grade you are in, you are not going to make it alone. You need people to hold the ropes for you so you succeed in school. So let’s think about four ropes for a bit. Every one of them is important.
The first rope will be held by your teachers. Keep in mind that your teachers have prepared in every way they can for teaching so they can help you be the best student you can be. They really do want you to succeed.
• Sometimes you might wonder why they ask you to do an assignment this way or that way, but they have a reason.
• You might think the work is too difficult for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. They want you to take steps to learn new things, more difficult things.
• You might not like some of the rules they have for the classroom, but those rules help you get your studies done right. When I was in school my teacher had a rule that we should not throw paper wads. Guess who tried it anyway? I had to write a 500-word theme as punishment. I think that is when I began to realize that I like to write!
You have a great opportunity to learn many things in school. The Bible says “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding.” (Prov.3:13). God wants us to learn about the world he has made. Teachers can help us do that. They will be there, holding the rope.