This Sunday in our Middle School group we were discussing the passage from the beginning of Mark 2. In this passage, Jesus is teaching in a house, people come from all over to hear him and it gets “fire-marshal-freak-out-crowded” (my translation). In the meantime four guys bring their friend, who was paralyzed, see the situation and so they go up to roof, drag their friend up there, tear a whole in the roof and then lower their friend down in front of Jesus. [Sidebar: talk about a sermon interupter! Do you think Jesus just kept preaching the whole time these guys are tearing a whole in the roof? At some point you’d think stuff would be falling on his head, noise would be loud, daylight would begin shining down. I have to believe that people, and Jesus, noticed before the guy was actually dangling in front of them all. But I digress…]
Now here’s where it gets super interesting to me. The text says, “Seeing their trust, Yeshua said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’.” So what just happened here? Is this man forgiven because of his friends faith? It sure seems to me this is the case. And I wonder, because it doesn’t really indicate, what this friend thought of all this. Being paralyzed, I doubt there was much he could do if he didn’t want to go.
This begs the question: What kind of friend am I? What am I willing to do to get my friends before Jesus? What is too big an obstacle to stop me? It’s clear in this story that these friend were willing to do anything to get their friend before Jesus. Crowds – no problem, we’ll just take him to the roof (oh, yeah, don’t forget you’ll have to haul him up there). Roof – no problem, we’ll just make a hole (oh, yeah, did you bring your tools with you? Does anyone have a leatherman or swiss army knife at least?). There is no, “I wonder what others will think?” or “I wonder what Jesus will think of us interupting His sermon to hundreds of others because we think our friend is more important?” They just loved their friend and believed this was the best thing to do.
What does this kind of friendship look like today? How do we get people in front of Jesus? What obstacles are in the way?
If you’re my friend… I love you and am working on being this kind of friend.
[Gotta love the perfectly square hole and the white robed Jesus in the pic!]