Let’s read the story of Jesus and the people who cut a hole in the roof to get their sick friend to him for healing.
(This is in the American Standard Version, which is from 1901 and thus free to use. Please feel free to use any translation you like for a more understandable version. The website BibleGateway is very helpful for switching between translations.)
And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, no, not even about the door: and he spake the word unto them. 3 And they come, bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy, borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy lay. 5 And Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.
Imagine the scene. Jesus is home, and everybody has found out. He wants some rest, but the crowds won’t let him. They are desperate for his message and his healing.
Now imagine yourself in the scene. You are there, with all those people.
Read the passage out loud, and see what sticks out for you. Does anything resonate with what you are experiencing now? Does anything seem confusing? Ask God to help you understand it.
Do you identify with any of the characters?
Are you Jesus just trying have a moment of peace? He was constantly trying to have some time for himself, and the crowds were forever finding him. We all need time to recharge. Do you feel like you are constantly helping others yet never taking time for yourself? Where do you go to fill your cup?
Are you one of the four friends desperate to take care of your friend who is sick? How do you feel? How long have you been carrying him? We carry our friends in prayer to Jesus. Who is on your prayer list? How long have they been there?
Are you the friend who is on the litter, suffering from palsy? How does the bed feel? Are you anxious because your friends have lifted you up really high? How do you feel about going to see Jesus this way? Excited? Anxious? Embarrassed? Sometimes we need healing so badly that it takes desperate measures to make it happen.
Are you a member of the crowd? Are you right up close, packed in tight, or further towards the edge, where you can’t hear very well? What do you see? What do you hear? Do you want to get further back, or closer?
Are you Jesus’ parents, wondering how his ministry got so big? Did you expect the crowd would be so large? How are you going to pay for the roof to be repaired?
It’s okay to identify with several of the characters.
Think about the roof. Have you ever had to go in an unusual way to seek healing?
Think about the friends. The person who needed healing wasn’t even able to get there. His friends carried him there. Do you have friends like that? Are you that kind of friend?
Notice it was because of the faith of the friends that Jesus healed the sick man. The sick man didn’t have to do anything. How does that make you feel?
Jesus often says “Your faith has healed you.” Think about that. What does that mean to you?