(18) And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
(19) And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.Luke 5:18-19
Here we are introduced to a few more of the people involved in this narrative.
The paralyzed man.
The verse describes the man as “in a bed” and “taken with the palsy”. This would have been someone who had no ability to get up and walk. The theology of the day taught that people in that condition were that way because of their sin or the sin of their parents. Where our culture tends to show compassion to the disabled at some level, showing compassion to the disabled in this culture would have been seen by the religious elite as going against God, since God was “obviously judging” this person. This could be why when the man came to the house filled with at least some level of the religious leadership class, they were kept out. No one deferred to them.
Is it possible that the man was in the state he was because of sin? Of course! There are times when our suffering comes because of our own sin. Still at other times, we suffer because of those who have sinned against us. Sometimes our suffering comes because we live in a world marked by sin. This man had sins in his life, and this will be made clear from the story.
The men who carried him
The gospel of Mark tells us how many of these men there were.
And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.Mark 2:3
These men believed that if they brought their friend to Jesus, that Jesus could do something for Him. Did the man plead with these men to bring him? Were these men strangers that heard his pleas, neighbors, family members, or people from his past life? We could speculate, but we do not know. What we do know is that they were tenacious. When people would not let them into the house through the normal means, they went to the roof.
Roofs in those days were flat. They often served as a porch for people to go on and sit in the cool of the evening. Access to the ceiling would often be made by stairs built on the side of the house to go up. So, you can just see these four men, each with their corner, carrying their friend to the front door, people denying them entry, and one of them saying, “Up to the roof!”. They get to the top. I can just hear their conversation.
“Let’s lower him to Jesus.”
“Are you serious? You want to rip open the roof? What about the owner?”
“I’ll pay him back or fix it myself. It is worth a shot. What if Jesus heals him?”
“Alright. Good thing this ceiling is tile.”
“You guys be careful with me!”
So, they start ripping off the tile, and then they attach ropes, and begin to lower the man in right in front of Jesus.
Notice the faith of all of these guys. It is a pretty simple idea, but it is profound.
The paralytic man was willing to let these four people carry him to Jesus and lower him through a roof. He was willing to be seen by all of these religious and good people who thought he was a sinner, and they may well have been right. He was willing to take the chance that Jesus would confront him about his sin and not forgive him. He was even willing to be lowered through a roof.
The men were willing to take the chance, make the effort, and pay the price maybe even for the roof to get their friend to Jesus. Why? They believed that Jesus could do something for this man that they could not do themselves. They believed that Jesus could do something for this man that no one else could do.
What you believe about Jesus is paramount. These men had the faith to go to Jesus for what they needed. They recognized their need for Jesus, and it drove how they saw their circumstance. Does the condition of the roof matter now to the paralyzed man? No way. The roof is long gone. But His sins, as we will see, are forgiven today and He is in heaven with Christ.
When we believe Jesus is the Son of God that can forgive sins, we will see our world differently and respond accordingly. First, we will respond in faith and go to Jesus ourselves. Then we will do whatever it takes to get people to Jesus.
- Are you looking for hope outside of Jesus, or apart from Jesus? Go to Jesus by faith!
- Who is someone that you need to get to Jesus? How can you help him get to Jesus today?