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I was reading some Bible stories to my toddler last night and we read the story about the man whose friends let him down through the roof of a house Jesus was in. This man was able to see Jesus and be healed because he had friends that didn’t give up.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it can be found in Mark 2. A paralyzed man wanted to see Jesus and be healed. His friends carried him to where Jesus was, but Jesus was inside a very crowded house and the men couldn’t get through. The men carried their friend up to the roof, made a hole in the roof, and let their friend down into the crowd where Jesus could see him and heal him. The man walked out, healed.
Short portion of the story here…
“When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”Mark 2:1-5 NLT
What struck me as I read this very basic version (it’s a children’s Bible, after all) was the dedication of the friends. They could have been too busy to take their friend to see Jesus. Or they could have gotten to the house, saw the crowd and decided to try again another time.
Instead, they climbed onto the roof and made a freaking hole in roof so they could let their friend down into the crowd. A hole. In someone’s roof in the name of healing their friend. And that act was worthy of being included in the Bible.
Being a friend that didn’t give up made history, in a sense.
Think about it- we could have just heard that Jesus healed yet another person. He could have been lumped in with the multitudes. But for some reason, we are told the story behind the healing. We’re clued into the enormous effort that went into bringing this man to Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I want those kinds of friends in my life. More importantly, I want to be that kind of friend. The kind of friend who moves heaven and earth for my friend and their needs. Who cuts a hole in someone’s roof, if that’s what needs to happen to get what they need.
In today’s world, it feels like we are increasingly isolated, despite being connected 24/7. Being this kind of friend is especially important. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own worlds. Our own busyness.
People matter. Jesus shows us that over and over again in the Bible. How we show others that they matter, how we show up for them is up to us. Showing someone that they matter in this huge, engulfing world could change a life. How can we be friends that don’t give up?