A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 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.”
This is a story of a crowd, a Savior, and deep friendship among five men.
Four men heard Jesus was in town healing the sick and teaching at a home in Capernaum. They had a paralyzed friend and they believed Jesus could heal him. The four friends brought their paralyzed friend to the house, but they could not make their way through the crowd.
Instead of giving up when they could not get through, the four able-bodied men engineered a way to hoist their paralyzed friend—basically dead weight—up to the thatched roof, where they dug through several feet of layers to carefully lower their friend down in front of Jesus.
And Jesus forgave his sins, and, a few verses later, he walked out with his friends in full view of the crowd.
Jesus healed the paralyzed man because of the tenacity of these four able-bodied friends. Put yourself in the story.
- Are there people in your circle that would drag you—as dead weight—to the feet of Jesus, for your own good?
- Who in your life would engineer things to help you find Jesus?
- Who do you love so much that you would go to great lengths to help them find Jesus?
- Whose transformation would delight and inspire you like the one in this story?
The truth is, it is the people around us who introduce us to Jesus. They reflect back to us our own transformation. Without them, we remain just as paralyzed as the man in the story.
Thought of the day: We need friendships that continually influence us for Christ. Sometimes, we need to be pushed to the next phase of our transformation in Christ. Sometimes, we need to push our good friends. Who is pushing you? Who are you pushing?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that our lives are a continual transformation! Please put the people in our lives who would battle the crowds for us, and who are the influencers and engineers of our next phase of life. Help us to love others with your deep, abiding love so we can be the crowd fighter, influencer, and engineer for their next step. In Jesus’ name, Amen.