Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Down Through the Roof

And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Mark 2:3

Every now and then, I am called upon to assist someone by giving them a ride somewhere. There are times I give rides to work for a coworker. I do this without hesitation. The person needs to work, and I have the means to get them there. I remember one time when a good friend of mine had injured himself, and could not drive himself to the urgent care facility. So, of course, I loaded him up in my car and drove there. I’m sure there have been times where you have been called on for similar things, and undoubtedly, you did whatever you could.

We see the same thing happening in the scripture that I started this message with. Four men had a friend who was paralyzed. Knowing that Jesus was in town, they decided to take their friend to where Jesus was. They knew that sick people were healed by him, and other amazing and miraculous things would happen. The problem was, everybody in town knew that, too. They arrived to find the house overflowing out the door with people, all packed in, listening to Jesus preach. It’s a good thing these guys weren’t like me when it comes to waiting and crowds. I have no patience. I’ll drive around at lunchtime looking for the shortest line, even if it’s the fast food joint I hate the most, just because I’m impatient (I’m working on it!). Thank God these men didn’t decide that there were too many people, and give up. Instead, they hoisted the buddy up on the roof of the house and began to rip apart the roof! They then lowered the guy down right in front of the Lord. The Bible says that when Jesus saw their faith, he performed the miracle!

Perhaps the man was tired of always hoping for a miracle, and he had resigned himself to simply living on his back for the rest of his life. Maybe he was even upset at his friends for running him across town like they had. Whatever state this guy was personally in, it was the faith of his friends that caught the attention of Jesus.

There is a message in here for us. The Bible clearly tells us that it is our responsibility to watch out for the needs of others. We must be there when other people are in need of prayer, and other needs, physical and otherwise. Perhaps it is finding that person struggling with an addiction of some kind, and is at the mercy of it. Pray for them. Talk to them, tell them about Jesus. Be there to listen to them when they need an ear. Do whatever you can do to get them to the One who can do something! And when they are touched by the hand of Jesus, don’t set them aside, but stay with them. When Peter and John were on their way to the temple at the hour of prayer, and healed the crippled beggar, the Bible says that he went with them to the temple, and that he was holding on to them! When you see the prayer answered, and that person changed, it time to hold on tighter and help him in his walk with Christ.

I used to work an inner-city ministry where we would feed the homeless and poor people of that city. We would begin to recognize people who came in month after month. Many of the same people would respond to an altar call for salvation over and over again. They would come to Jesus, but be turned back out to the streets, to drugs, alcohol and prostitution again. Could it be that they had no one to hold on to them? There was no one to take the time and disciple them? That is why it’s so urgent to stay with people, and see them transformed by the power of God. It may not be some hard case like I mentioned. It may be the teenager next door whose life is in shambles because he found out that his folks are divorcing. It may be taking time to reach out to the woman who has just lost a child or husband. It meeting people at their weakest, and being the strength the need.

May God bless you as you seek to get that person to Christ!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read a story, a testimony of what happened in one of Reinhard Bonnke's meetings.. it was about this woman who came to one of his meetings, but really wasn't seeking to be healed... She was only there as an invited guest.. some political thing. He called her out and said she was going to be healed but she tried to hide herself... as ministers you can imagine how this guy felt... He says "Oh Lord, she doesn't have faith. How is this going to work?" Anyway he used his faith and stood on his faith that he heard form God and prayed for her and she was healed... there's more to the story of course, but that's it in a nut shell. He compared this to the same story of the friends bring the man to Jesus and lowering him through the roof.

his quote at the end of the story is " The longer I live the less I pretend to know about the mind of God. I do not know why some are healed when others are not. I only know that sometimes it is the gift of someone else's faith that can make a person whole. "

I love how you've applied it to more then just healing though... it takes our stand in Faith to help others through, to help others walk and grow in their faith.

Good stuff :)