Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 4, 2014

"Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God." Luke 5:17-25

I love this story!

Apparently the Apostles did, too, because it is recorded in three of the four Gospels!

There are four things that really stand out to me about these guys being committed and bringing their friend to Jesus: 

• They went out of their way. 

I have to believe these four men had other things they could have been doing this day, but Jesus was in town and He was the only hope for their hopeless friend. So, regardless of how inconvenient it was for them or how uncomfortable it may have been, they made the time and gave the effort to help their needy friend.

• They were persistent. 

Have you ever noticed when you don't really want something you can find an excuse for not doing it?

When these four friends carefully and tediously toted their paralyzed pal to the house where Jesus was, they discovered the place was standing room only - and that was on the outside! That would have been a plausible excuse for calling it a day and heading back home.

But they didn't! They persisted! They were committed to making sure their friend saw Jesus.

Getting him to Jesus was inconvenient, uncomfortable, difficult and complicated but they didn't quit!

• They took a risk. 

Bob Biehl, a leadership guru, says that creativity is simply determined problem solving. 

Their commitment to their friend and their persistence in completing their mission drove them to do something risky. They climbed to the roof of the house, considering they were each holding the corner of a mat, that alone was risky.

But, the house was full of people and people blocked the windows and blocked the doors so the only way to go was up. 

When they made it safely to the roof they did another risky thing, they tore a hole in the roof large enough to lower their buddy through. This was risky if they knew the home owner and VERY risky if they didn't know him!

But, in their opinion the greater risk was in not getting their friend to Jesus!

• They carried the weight. 

Do you have a friend who is willing to bear the weight of your burdens?

In a day and age where life is difficult and demanding we can hardly bear the weight of our own burdens let alone carrying the burdens of another. But that is what Jesus calls us to do!

The fourth thing I admire about this quartet of friends is their willingness to carry the weight of their paralyzed friends burden.


So, having considered the admirable deed of these four men I ask you:

When’s the last time you went out of your way to invite someone to church. To get them into the presence of God? 

When’s the last time you were persistent? 

When’s the last time you took a risk for someone else? 

When’s the last time you carried the burden of someone else and laid it before Jesus?