Mark 21-5 After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren't able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher.
Lord Jesus--There can are obstacles in the way of accomplishing your will. Sometimes those obstacles are the very people who are trying to follow you. It is ironic that the people who were surrounding you stood in the way of these men accomplishing what you laid on their hearts to do. The people that surrounded you were not trying to be in the way...it was just life. Remind me of that when I need it.
I am wondering about the dust and the mess that they must have made while they were trying to get through the roof...as pieces of the roof were falling were they were apologetic to the people below. Did any of the debris hit anyone? I am thinking there were some looks...some complaints.
Lord Jesus--I got to admit there are times I am any of these men on the roof. Sometimes I have my hands on the stretcher of a friend intent on seeing that this loved one receives what is needed: forgiveness, wholeness and grace.
A roof is not going to stop my efforts at seeing God's action brought into the real world. Help me to be faithful, Lord when prayer is what you are calling me to. A roof demolition is much easier for me at times than to allow you to use me in prayer.
You know me so well, maybe that is why my hands are seldom empty. You know that prayer comes easier with a stretcher, or hammer in my hand. Each piece of roof that was prided off, and tossed off the edge to the ground came tumbling down with a prayer. "Release hands and feet just like this roof tile is free to fall, fall on this one we love enough to carry." That is the way, I have prayed at times...with each manual act an act of prayer. Each pounding of the hammer springing out of a heart that longs to see God's Spirit released in power.
Lord Jesus--There are times when I am on the stretcher Surround by the love of friends and at the same time uneasy in their care. I have known those times when without the strong hands of loved ones carrying me to you, I would not have gotten there. Thankfulness is too shallow a word to express my gratefulness for the people that you have brought into my life...they have supported me in prayer even without my knowing it. They had brought me to you through the roof more than once.
Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, "Son, I forgive your sins."
You did not band-aid this man's hurt. You addressed the point of his need. The simple fact is: sin had hobbled him and he needed to be liberated from its grip. You forgave his sin without hesitation. You knew what the people looking on would say but you forgave this man anyway.
I wonder what silliness had brought this young man to this point in his life. Was it trying to impress these same friends? Was it a horse race just a bit to daring? Was it a leap that was just plain a bad idea?
Regardless, of what got this man on this stretcher...you forgave him for all of it.
In the day that will begin all too soon, let this day be brought to light with praise on my lips and in my heart for the people who you have brought into my life. People who have at times carried me to you, and at other times I have had the privilege of bringing to you. Continue the work that starts on a roof and that leads to healing, praise, and new places of service.