“Hey, what’s going on up there?” A scribe in a fancy robe jumps to his feet, interrupting Jesus’ teaching. He wags an angry finger at a wooden stick poking through the crowded home’s clay ceiling. Other important-looking leaders rise in a huff to watch the stick break a wide hole in the ceiling, spraying clay and dust over the people below.
Onlookers stare through the hole as four pairs of hands break off roof tiles. Soon those hands lower a stretcher into the room—and it’s carrying a man who can’t move. The paralysed man is hurting physically. He depends on his family and friends for his every need. He’s also hurting spiritually because he’s a sinner who needs forgiveness.
If those are the basic facts about the man on the stretcher, who in the world were the four guys who hacked through the roof to put their friend in front of Jesus?
The Bible doesn’t give us names, but it’s safe to assume that these guys were just ordinary people with a friend who needed Jesus. They were just like us-ordinary people with needy friends.
And these ordinary guys were able to tap into Jesus’ power.
Here’s how. These men had faith big enough to believe Jesus would do something for their hurting friend . . . big enough to hack a hole in the ceiling . . . big enough to spray chunks of clay and dust on the people below, then peer down expectantly at Jesus as he stood over the paralyzed man. Jesus, who has power over sickness and sin, saw their faith and used his authority to heal the paralysed man.
Think about it. One minute, a man is flat on his back, unable even to twitch a muscle. He might have been that way for years. Then Jesus speaks: “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!” (Mark 2:11). And suddenly the man is on his feet and moving around like anyone else in the room. What power!
Jesus has all the power of God. Even so, you don’t have to worry that Jesus will crash into your life, muscle in on all your activities, and force his help on you. He’s the only being in the universe who has the strength you need to beat all of life’s obstacles-physical, mental, social, or spiritual. But he won’t push himself on you. He’s patient. He stands ready. He’s available to apply his authority in your life and in the lives of your friends and family. All you have to do is ask.
What tough stuff are you facing right now where you could use help from Jesus?