Friends Find a Way
Matthew 9:1–8; Mark 2:1–12; Luke 5:17–26; The Desire of Ages, pp. 267–271
I serve Jesus when I bring others to Him.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10, NIV).
Do you know someone who has a very serious disease? If they needed to see a doctor, would you rip off the hospital roof to get them inside? One sick man’s friends did something like that!
If you had taken a walk in the town of Capernaum one certain day, you would probably have heard, “Jesus is in town! Jesus is in town!”
A crowd of people hurried to a house where Jesus was healing and teaching. And what a crowd it was! There was no room inside the house. There was no room in the yard either. All kinds of people were in that house with Jesus: Pharisees, teachers of the law, ordinary people, and many, many sick people.
There was a very sick man in that town and oh, how he wanted to meet Jesus! But he had a problem. He was paralyzed. How could he get to Jesus? He couldn’t move. All he could do was lie on his bed and think about how sick he was. If only he could meet Jesus! He just knew that Jesus would make him well.
The paralyzed man was fortunate in at least one way. He had four very good friends who were happy to carry him to Jesus. Each took a corner of his mat, and off they went. But when they found the house where Jesus was healing, they couldn’t reach Jesus. There were people everywhere. No one would let them through the crowd. So near and yet so far!
The sick man was worried that he wouldn’t see Jesus after all. What could he and his four friends do? There had to be a way to get through that crowd.
His friends took him up to the roof of the house. How strange! Have you ever entered a house from the roof? It isn’t easy. Do you know what the four friends did next? They made a hole in the roof—big enough for their sick friend and his mat to fit through. Then, with ropes, they let the sick man on his mat down, down, down. He landed right in front of Jesus!
Jesus’ eyes were so kind. He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Forgiven, I’m forgiven! the man said to himself. What a happy day!
The Pharisees and teachers of the law were not happy about this. They had already refused to help this man because of his sins. They thought to themselves, How dare Jesus try to forgive sins! Only God can forgive sins!
Jesus could read their minds. He spoke strongly to them, “Why are you thinking these things? People need to be helped. Which is easier: to say you are forgiven, or to say you are healed? You will soon know that I can forgive sins on earth!”
Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Rise up, take your bed, and go back to your house!” Suddenly the man could move his legs and his arms. He was healed all over! He got up, rolled up his mat, carried it out of the room, and headed home. This time the crowd let him through!
Everyone was amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
The four friends were really happy that they had brought their friend to Jesus. How about you? Do you want to bring someone to Jesus?