Imagine that you live in Israel, and your rooftop is flat. You use it like America uses a backyard. Tiles line the rooftop, and you’ve even filled an area with dirt and have grass growing on the rooftop to provide a little extra insulation. To get to the rooftop, you’ve built stairs on the side of the house.
One day, Jesus comes to your door, and you invite Him in. You call a few friends over, so that they can listen to His teachings. Soon, there are so many friends and neighbors in your home, it is impossible to move, and people are looking inside from the open windows and doors.
“Hey, Jesus is in Capernaum; let’s carry our friend to the house where He’s staying.”
The men arrive at the house, and they scurry from the doorway to the windows and back to the doorway. No way to get in.
“I know, we’ll carry him to the rooftop, dig through the dirt, remove the tiles, and lower him on his pallet.”
Clods of dirt fall from the ceiling. The crowd looks up as the rooftop hole gets bigger. One of the men peers through the hole, and then a pallet emerges from the hole.
Jesus looks up and perhaps smiles as the paralytic is lowered to His feet.
And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
“What’s that about? We want our friend healed!”
The teachers of the Law thought, “That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking.
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven;” or to say “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk?”
But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” Mark 2:9-12
- The hope of the crowd was to hear Jesus teach the Word. Perhaps they were hoping to see a miracle. They had faith that Jesus could work miracles.
- The hope of the paralytic was that his friends could bring him to Jesus for a healing. He had faith in his friends.
- The hope of the friends was that they could get their friend to Jesus. The friends knew that Jesus would heal their friend, and they were committed to do anything they needed to do to bring their friend to Jesus.
The paralytic and the friends were hoping for a miracle of healing. Yet, Jesus always addressed the first priority in a person’s life, and for the paralytic, it was sin.
Everyone said that they had never seen anything like that and glorified God. They knew that Jesus could heal, but this time, Jesus used the healing to show that He also had authority to forgive sins. That authority made Jesus equal with God!
My Prayer for You
Heavenly Father, thank You for addressing our most pressing needs first. Many times, we come to you with what we think are our needs, not realizing that they are secondary to what we really need to address. Thank You for friends who have faith enough to bring us to You at all costs. May we sit at Your feet as You address our needs, and may everyone see the work that You are doing in our lives and give God the glory.
What are you hoping for?