Our theme this month is Jesus Helps Me, and today I told a great story about a man who was paralyzed. His friends heard that Jesus was coming to town, so they loaded this guy on a bed and carried him into town to see Jesus -- they knew that if anyone could heal their friend, it was gonna be Jesus. Unfortunately, when they got to the house where Jesus was teaching, everyone had beat them there, and the house was packed. There was no way they were getting near the doorway, much less getting into the room so Jesus could see them.
So they did what any motivated, resourceful friends would do. They carried their friend up to the roof of the house, made a hole in the roof, and lowered him down into the room.
I'm sure people made space for him. And I'm sure that they were pretty shocked at what was going on (especially the home owner -- I'd freak a little if someone put a hole in my roof!).
The story ends well. Miraculously, actually. Jesus tells the guy to pick up his bed and walk. And that's exactly what he does.
Pretty amazing stuff, and my kids are learning that Jesus can do anything.
Not that the miracles of Jesus can be trumped, but I think there's another pretty big lesson in this story. And it has to do with the guy's friends.
This guy had friends that were crazy about him. They wanted him to be well. They wanted him to be able to kick the soccer ball with them and run around, and head down to the local market for a Jewish Jamba Juice. They so wanted him to be well.
They made a pallet and carried him into town. And even if he happened to be on the thin side, I'm sure his friends got pretty tired of carrying him. But they didn't stop or give up. They kept going. And when they got to where Jesus was and saw that there was a full house, they didn't give up. They were determined. So they did this crazy thing and carried him up to a roof to lower him down to Jesus. I'm sure that was no easy task. But his friends did it. Because his friends loved him.
I think it probably would've been easier to just not be friends with that guy. Because his situation made it a little inconvenient to hang with him. Or they could have just accepted him the way he was.
But his friends went to the limit for him.
I am lucky to have friends who go to the limit for me. Who are friends with me, even if I'm different from them. Even when it's inconvenient (shout out to my friends south of 635!). I have friends who have carried me through tough times, even when it would have been considered by anyone else as a burden. I have friends who have carried me to Jesus when I couldn't walk myself. I have friends who love me that much.
And that's the kind of friend I want to be to them.
Think about it -- without those do-whatever-it-takes kind of friends, that man would have never walked. He owes the miracle to Jesus. But he really owes it to his friends.