Summary: I believe that it’s good to have friends who will go the extra mile for you.
Way back in the 90s, I had to preach the funeral of a man I never met. The funeral home called and asked if I would perform the service since I was the pastor of the church, where he was to be buried.
I found out something very interesting about the man, as I spoke with the family members. It seems that the man was a prominent attorney in our capital city and had attended the University of South Carolina. He was also bound to a wheel chair and the university, at that time, had no wheel chair access. The family told me of an amazing friendship between this man and another student.
His friend would push him to the coal shoot and slide him down in the basement, where he would meet him and carry him up to the first floor and to his classes.
I believe that it’s good to have friends who will go the extra mile for you.
Jesus has come back to Capernaum and is in the house of Peter, where He is quickly surrounded by people desperate for His Word.
As a matter of fact that is what Scripture tells us that Jesus was doing.
vv. 1, 2 He preached the Word to them.
Somewhere during the message a ruckus started above the crowd, which brings me to my first point.
I: Jesus Looked Up vv. 3-4
There are five things here that I believe Jesus saw as He looked up and saw four men ripping a hole in the roof of Peter’s house..
1 He saw their genuine concern:
He saw four men who were willing to do whatever it took the get their friend an audience with the One who was able to change his circumstance…
2 He saw their faith in Jesus to meet the need: They didn’t rip the roof off the doctor’s house.
They knew, if they could just get their friend to Jesus, He could do something that no one else could.
3 He saw the men putting feet/hands on their prayers:
Prayer is great but sometimes you need to stop praying and get busy…PLEASE pray for that lost one in your life BUT sometimes you just have to scoop them up and bring them to Him.
4 He saw that they didn’t let circumstances stop them:
It would have been so easy for these men to say, “Well the crowd is too thick and Jesus is really busy. I guess we’ll have to try it another day. Maybe we can get you in before He leaves town again”
I got a message from one of our, nearly 400, members of Prayer Warriors, a prayer group I have on face book. The message came after one of the morning devotions, which dealt with getting off your back pew and reaching people. This person told how they really enjoyed the devotion and what an inspiration it was BUT…and they proceeded to list all the reasons they couldn’t do what the devotion challenged them to do. “Well you see, pastor Jimmy, circumstances and trials just prevent me from being able to do what I really want and know I need to be doing.”
Too often we let STUFF stop us from serving the Lord and being a witness for Him.
5 He saw them Working together…daring to do something different:
And because of their effort these men were able to experience the blessings of Jesus:
This is the key to any church growth. It cannot be the responsibility of one or two. The work is too hard and burden too heavy for one or two. When we ALL come together to reach the community we too will experience the blessings that Jesus is just waiting to pour out on us.
II Jesus Looked Down: v5
When Jesus looked down He saw a man who was paralyzed.
Notice that the first thing Jesus deals with is not the man’s physical condition but the condition of his heart.
Sin may not be the only reason for physical sickness but it does, sometimes, play a role in the person’s condition.
We know that Jesus ALWAYS looks in the heart before He looks at the physical and I see here that He looked down at a man whose disobedience to God had put him in his present condition.
There is something amazing that we see in this verse, something that caught Jesus’ attention and caused me to think about something.
Jesus saw the faith of the four men. He saw the faith of the paralytic but the faith of his friends was so obvious that Jesus noticed it right off. The faith of friends can and will play a huge role in those paralyzed by sin being forgiven.
Here’s a harsh reality…If you trust Jesus enough you’ll bring them too Him…