I want to spend a couple of minutes looking at an account in the New Testament book of Luke—chapter five, beginning with verse seventeen.
"One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus."
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
"Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” (Luke 5:17-26 NIV)
If you grew up going to Sunday School and church, you’ve undoubtedly heard/read this particular account more than once. You might have even chosen this passage of scripture for Bible Drama night at church camp back in the day. But I’m going to say with almost absolute certainty that in your mind the star of the ‘show’ (other than Jesus, of course) is the guy who came in on a mat and left on his feet.
You would be wrong.
The real stars here (again, besides Jesus, of course) are the guy’s friends. It’s their fault he was there in the first place. It’s their fault he was able to circumvent the crowd and remove the obstacles (literally) so that he could be face to face with Jesus. Let’s be honest—it couldn’t have been easy moving the guy through the crowd on a mat to even make it to the house so that they could get on the roof. And how easy could it have been to carry him up there? You know it took a little (or a lot) of muscle and cooperation between them all to get it done. We also shouldn’t forget about the fact that they disassembled someone’s house all in the name of helping a friend.
Take a minute to let that all sink in. Think about the level of friendship involved. The depth of their faith and convictions. The bold determination on their part to give their friend the very best.
Now that your mind is focused on these things, I want to close by asking you three questions.
1: Now do you see why it is so important that your circle of friends…your closest friends have a genuine and intimate relationship with Jesus?
2: Now do you see why it is so important for you to have that same kind of relationship with Jesus?
3: Now do you know why you should live your life being the kind of husband, wife, parent, and friend who isn’t afraid for things to be your fault when it comes to pointing others in the direction of Jesus?
Be Salt and Light!