18 Now some men brought in a bed a man who was paralyzed. They searched for ways to bring him in and lay him before Him. 19 When they could not find a way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into their midst before Jesus. 20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is He who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered them, “Why question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, rise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 25 Immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 They were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen wonderful things today.”Luke 5
“When He saw their faith…” Do you get that? Jesus healed in all kinds of ways. He would touch the sick where they needed healing; at His word people far away were healed; people would touch His garment and they would be healed. This is, however, my favorite healing! I like to think that maybe these friends of the paralyzed man were not the faithful and pious synagogue regulars but had heard that Jesus healed. This band of brothers agree perhaps to face their regularly worshiping neighbors for the sake of their paralyzed friend’s healing. So these courageous friends arrive to where Jesus is, only to find there is no room to approach with their paralyzed friend.
19 When they could not find a way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into their midst before Jesus.Luke 5
Determined to get their friend before the Lord, these men lower him through a hole they make in the roof. They didn’t come all this way and make all this effort to have their friend outside unseen. Their effort not only results in the healing of their friend, but in a demonstration of the Lord’s power, authority and divinity before the people and the religious leaders.
20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”Luke 5
Our efforts to bring others to the Lord do not go unnoticed. I am especially encouraged that these men made a way for someone who couldn’t make their way alone to be seen by the Lord. Somehow Jesus knew these men were acting in faith on behalf of their paralyzed friend. I like to think of this passage when I pray for fellow journeyers of this life who have strayed from the straight and narrow path. It almost makes sense to bring them through the roof to the presence of Jesus because there is no way they might come to church to be seen by the Sunday regulars. It makes me want to invite the people I’m in contact with every day that are in need of Jesus and are paralyzed in their unforgiveness, addiction, depression. They need others to carry them into the presence of the Lord.
Maybe streaming the worship services has been a way to carry those who are unable before Jesus in worship and for healing. I am praying that we may get back to a cautious normalcy in gathering together for worship. My hope is that, knowing many have been paralyzed by this crazy year of fear and loss, we can faithfully and lovingly carry those who are in need of Christ into his presence. Then we’ll let Jesus do the rest!
Rev, Rick Milliorn
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