Four faithful friends…a paralyzed man…God’s healing power upon Jesus… and a house (with some roof damage).
The house was packed — people everywhere. Jesus was in the house. Four faithful friends had carried their friend– a paralyzed man– to Jesus. I wonder how long they journeyed through the town? A few blocks– or maybe a mile or two? They must have experienced a little bit of frustration not being able to get into the house. Ingenuity prevailed.
They ascended the house’s outer staircase and landed on the roof. Quickly, they removed the tiles eventually breaking through the roof. “Sorry for the dust and debris my friends, but we’re on a mission.” It was now elevator time. In this day, homes in Capernaum were– let’s just say– elevator free. The faithful four attached ropes to each corner of the mat and meticulously lowered their friend right in front of Jesus. What an suberb entry, eh?
Luke 5:20: “Seeing THEIR (emphasis mine) faith, Jesus said to the man, `Son, your sins are forgiven.'” You do see that word `THEIR,’ right? The paralyzed friend did nothing except cooperate with the ride through town on a mat and the elevator stunt. Yet, his sins were forgiven. But, there’s more.
Luke 5:24: “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed.” You can finish the story. Indeed, as everyone watched, the man jumped to his feet, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.
Consider this scenario as a cell gathering. What do you think the members present would be talking about on the way home? Were they murmuring because the child care was haphazard… the coffee was too weak… the “talker” was back and wouldn’t be silent for more than two minutes at any given time… the worship seemed flat? Not exactly. “Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe. And they praised God, saying over and over again, `We have seen amazing things today.'” What a cell gathering!
Some questions to ponder:
When you were on the mat, who held a corner for you?
Are you holding a corner for another right now?
Is the Lord’s healing power heavy in your midst?
Are your cell members gripped with wonder and awe?
What remodeling needs to take place in order to get the hurting and needy in the room?
What mat do you need to leave behind?
As a conduit of God’s care coupled with faith in Christ, grab a corner of the mat and let’s see Him change lives.