I really like this picture. Out of the many I have gathered over the years, this one just speaks of urgency. In case you’re not aware of if you are looking past it – the picture depicts more than just a hole in the roof or a massive construction issue. To me, what is demonstrates beyond anything else is the concern, desire, and love that friends had for their friend.
This is what’s recorded in Luke’s Gospel: “One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee, and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up to the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.'” (Luke 5, vv.17-20).
I think of what these men did, that day, and the incredible faith they showed. When one way seemed to be shut down, they got innovative. It’s almost as if they would not be denied on behalf of their friend. And the result: God was glorified through this man, this sinner, being saved. Yes He was healed (read on in chapter 5), but most importantly: he who was once lost, was found.
I wonder if we would go to such lengths for our friends? Do we show the same resolve, the same fortitude, the same passion? Will we do what is necessary to get them to encounter Jesus for themselves? We should be – continuously.
Don’t give up friends. Do whatever it takes in love. Father, give us all we will need, today, to reach out to others with the Good News. Help us to have the determination and courage that will be necessary so that no one misses out on the life changing transformation that has been made available through Your Son and that is provided today by Your Holy Spirit. May we be a people that take this mission passionately and seriously. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.