You’ve heard about the sick man, right? The one who was carried a long distance by his friends? I’ve heard about it before. But never like I did on Saturday night.
Ron Swanson spoke about seeking Christ until the VERY LAST MOMENT. It wasn’t just about seeking Jesus. This story is about men who sought Jesus on behalf of their friend. The sick man was confined to his bed and unable to carry himself the distance to where Jesus was. So his friends did it for him.
But when they got there, the house was too crowded and they couldn’t get inside to Jesus. They had done all they could do. They were out of options, right?
Wrong. They climbed on the roof and started tearing it apart.
They just carried their friend- they’re not going to lug around tools also. Nope. They did it with their hands. I imagine this small group of men kneeling on the roof digging and pulling until their hands bled.
And they just kept going.
Did you ever realize that this was someone else’s house? If I was one of the those men, I would have been the protestor. No. We cannot tear apart the roof because it’s not our house. Even if Jesus is inside. We’ve got to follow the rules.
On they went until the hole was wide enough for their sick friend to fit through. I imagine them peeking through the hole first and seeing Jesus looking back,with bits of sheet rock on his shoulders and face. Even though they didn’t have sheet rock back then.
Then they lowered their friend down at the feet of Jesus. Can’t you hear the protests? The religious leaders yelling about how they about how they made a mess? About how they ruined the service? Oh friends… you know exactly what I’m talking about.
And then… Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven.”
I’m sure that’s the last thing the sick man wanted to hear. He was so sick he had to be carried in his bed, and yet Jesus doesn’t even address that. But that’s what Jesus does. He cares about all of me. About all of my sick friend. The body and the heart too. And the heart’s more important because …
…if your foundation is Jesus nothing can ruin you.
And then Jesus finishes with, “Take up your mat and walk.”
When all was lost, they climbed on the roof. When they didn’t have tools, they used their hands. When people were angry and called them crazy, they lowered their friend to the feet of Jesus.
And… I cannot help but think of my family. My mom, dad, and sisters. It is not over yet. It is not finished. We’re standing outside the crowded house, and it seems like there is nothing left to do. Nowhere else to go.
Will you climb on the roof with me?