I’ve read the story a hundred times.
A crowded house.
Standing room only.
Doorways blocked by groups of people gathered around outside.
There was definitely something special happening inside these walls.
And anyone who knew what was going on wanted to be there too.
Word had traveled quickly.
Neighbors were talking.
Jesus had come back home.
If you could push your way through the throngs of people,
the man of miracles was within reach.
And one man desperately needed His touch.
Unable to get to Jesus on His own,
this particular paralytic man needed help.
And thankfully, he had four friends who would stop at nothing.
Unable to find an open door or window,
these men conspired to do whatever it took to make a way.
Figuring out where Jesus was located inside the home,
they climbed to the top of the thatched roof and began digging.
I’m not sure when the crowd below began to notice falling pieces of debris,
but eventually they had to notice a group of men making their way to Jesus from the only way they knew.
There they were.
Four men peering in from the rooftop,
calculating a way to lower their friend into the presence of Jesus.
(I wonder what it felt like to look down on the One who had come from above?
I hope we get to watch documentaries of Bible stories in Heaven.
I will definitely tune in for this one.)
Once the hole was the right size, these four men did what any good friend would do.
They lowered the paralytic man to the One who loved Him most.
When a friend can’t reach Jesus, isn’t that what we should do?
Help them find a way.
I paused at this point in the story.
As Jesus turned to face this paralyzed man, lying on his mat,
and realized the deep faith of his friends,
He spoke the words I believe this man needed to hear most of all.
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
The story could have ended here,
and the man would have been carried away ….
Is there anything more freeing than knowing our sin has been taken away?
But the teachers of the law had watched this happen,
this forgiveness being offered by a man they were still trying to figure out,
and the thoughts dancing through their heads caught His attention.
It was only then that He did more.
Turning to them, He said,
“Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say,
‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin…”
He said to the paralytic,
“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Jesus healed this paralytic man physically
only to show the religious leaders
He had the power to heal him spiritually.
Jesus knew what mattered most.
Jesus knew the condition of man’s heart and soul supersede any physical limitations.
Prayer requests are generally lists of people in the hospital.
People struggling with one illness or another.
And that’s okay.
But today, I’m wondering who needs healed in an entirely different way?
Who needs to know Jesus sees your past, and maybe even your present, and says,
“I took care of that on the cross. Let it go.”
The roof has been opened.
Jesus is there.
Consider yourself lowered into His presence today.
He’s within reach.
Don’t be afraid to let Him touch you.