A man who was lame (i.e., couldn’t walk) was taken by four of his friends on a little ride on his mat. Can you see it? Four men, each holding a corner, struggling to carry their friend.
It probably wasn’t the sort of ride that the man expected. If he’d have known his friends would lower him to see Jesus from a roof top, would he have consented to be carried?
I doubt it.
The Bible doesn’t tell us, but I think that he’d likely say, “All that work to see Jesus? Don’t waste your time friends. Jesus probably won’t have anything to do with me!
Why such a negative view of himself?
In Bible times it was believed that if you were sick, it was because somewhere in the past, you (or perhaps your relatives!) had sinned. This lame man felt guilty – he had been taught that he must have done something to deserve his fate!
But, his friends were persistent. They didn’t let anything stop them in their quest to get their friend an audience with Jesus! They just knew that Jesus could heal their friend.
It’s a miracle!
“Wait,” you say. I’ve jumped ahead in the story. I’ve skipped the part where Jesus tells the man to get up and walk.
And then we could say that it was a miracle.
I didn’t mean that miracle. I meant a different miracle. Did you know there is more than one miracle in this story?
How about the one where the real heros of this story shine? We all know that Jesus will perform a miraculous healing. So, who are the unidentified super stars? (Cue the Superman music?)
That’s right, it’s the four friends! It’s a miracle that the paralyzed man had four friends who persisted in carrying him to Jesus!
The friends needed courage and creativity. They needed the right equipment! They gave 110%. Taking your friends to Jesus is worth it, and these four friends were sure of that.
How about you? What would you risk to take a friend to Jesus?
But I don’t feel comfortable inviting people to church, you say.
But there are other ways to “bring” someone to Jesus. Discuss it with your family. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Pray for someone. Let them know that you are praying for them.
- Share ways that you have perceived God at work in your life.
- Train yourself and family members, to be sensitive of the needs of others. (It requires us to take notice!) Are they lonely, tired, afraid? What are ways that you can help? (Because being Jesus’ hands and feet brings people to Jesus!)
What will you do to take a friend to Jesus?
Stretcher bearers by Sjwells53, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.
“Superman” by Hiperterminal, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. (A cropped version of this photo.)