By John Hughes
I found myself inspired by this story recently.
“And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 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 bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”A few things struck me in thinking about these four men and their idea:
– Mark 2:2-5
It was crazy
Who thinks to take off the roof? How rude! Surely a good-hearted, responsible citizen would see the impossibility of getting the paralytic inside, and decide to wait outside, hoping that on his way out Jesus would notice them.
It was urgent
Couldn’t they have waited twenty minutes for Jesus to finish his sermon? These men had a serious sense of urgency about them.
It was bold
They were willing to barge in, to interrupt the Son of God as he was speaking, and to literally put this man's need in the forefront of what was going on.
It was selfless
These four men didn’t have anything to gain in doing this. On the contrary, odds are they’d be the ones to pick up the tab for the roof damages.
It was full of
One has to be absolutely certain that Jesus is able (and willing) to heal before doing something like tearing a roof off. It seems these men had an acute understanding of who Jesus is, and faith that he would be willing to heal this man.
What about us: how far are we willing to go for the people who need to be brought to Jesus?
- Are we willing to get two or three other brothers or sisters together to carry them?
- Are we open to the seemingly harebrained ideas that the Lord would give us?
- Will we “storm heaven” for them, boldly and selflessly putting their needs before the Lord?
- Do we understand the urgency? Or do we passively wait?