Real friends destroy rooftops.
Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:3-5
Does that make you feel like a crappy friend or what? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe you climbed on somebody’s roof, helped a immobilized guy up a ladder, cut into the ceiling and lowered him down last week. If so, I’d really like to hear more about the logistics of that. And the reaction of the homeowner. And you should probably put it on YouTube.
But really, every time I read this passage I have to ask myself how far I’m willing to go to get my friends to Jesus. We’re not even talking about frenemies here, just straight up friends.
The guys in this passage clearly got what was at stake for their friend. Their friend had a serious problem that only Jesus could fix. So they were willing to do whatever it took to get him to Jesus. It was awkward at best, and extraordinarily challenging I assume, to get a paralyzed man onto a roof. They risked injury, an angry homeowner, and a baffled reaction from Jesus. Yet, it was worth it.
Isn’t this the plight of everyone you know? We all have a major sin problem that only Jesus can fix. The situation is serious, and the urgency is real. We may risk awkward conversations, being called “intolerant”, or a distancing of friendships when we try to get others to Him, but it will be eternally worth it.
Get bold this week. Take a risk. But maybe don’t cut a hole in anyone’s roof… unless you’re interested in prison ministry. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis: you’ve never met a mere mortal. Every person you know will spend eternity with Jesus or separated from Him. And you have a Spirit of power, not timidity, working on your behalf. So let go of any excuses or fear, and know that the reward is SO worth it.
~ Whitney Sewell
Father, thank you for your goodness and your glory. Thank you for letting me speak influence into the lives of my friends. I pray that you will given them ears to hear and eyes to see the good things you’re doing in my life. Help me to make the most of every opportunity with them so that more will come to know you and that you will be glorified above all else. I love you. Amen.
Other Scriptures to study: