TEXT: Mark 2:1-12
ONE time there was a man so sick he could not walk. He lived in a little town called Capernaum, far across the water. The people there had heard all about Jesus and how He walked from city to city teaching about God and making sick people well. They wished they could see Jesus.
One happy day Jesus came to the sick man’s town. Jesus was teaching in another house. Oh, how that poor, sick man wanted to see Jesus! The man was so sick and he shook so hard he could not hold his hands still, and someone even had to feed him. How could he get to see Jesus?
This sick man had some friends. He had one-two-three-four real good friends that came to see him and always tried to help him all they could.
When the friends heard about Jesus’ coming to town, they hurried fast to their poor, sick friend’s house. “Jesus is here,” they said, “Jesus is here, the same Jesus who made blind people see and lame men walk. He can help you, too. Jesus can make you well.”
“How can I see Jesus and ask Him to make me well when I cannot even walk to get to the house where He is?” asked the man.
The four friends looked at their poor, sick friend. They must find some way to take him to see Jesus but how could they do it? They could not just pick him up and carry him; he was too heavy.
“You shall see Jesus,” said one of the friends. “Jesus never has said ‘No’ to anyone who asked Him to heal him, so I know if we can get you where Jesus can see you, He will heal you.”
The four friends talked together. All of a sudden they had an idea. They thought of just the way to carry their friend. All four of them could help so he would not be too heavy for any one of them, and it would not hurt the sick man either.
“We are going to carry you,” the man’s friends said. “We will each take a corner of your bed, and then we can carry you easily.”
Each of them took a corner of the sick man’s bed-mat and down the street they started with their sick friend. On they went until they came to the house where Jesus was. The house was so full of people they could not get in at the door. There were so many people in that house listening to Jesus teach, there was not room for one more. Four men carrying a poor, sick man would never be able to squeeze in there anywhere.
The friends would not take their sick friend back home. No, they were close to Jesus and they would find some way to get to Him. What could they do now?
The houses in that town all had flat roofs on them. They had some steps on the outside wall that went up to the flat roof. “We will carry you up the steps to the flat roof,” the sick man’s friends said. “We have a plan that will get you in to see Jesus.”
Up the steps carefully and slowly went the men with the bed. They did not want to hurt their friend. Soon they were on top of the roof. It was nice and flat up there and no one was in the way, either.
Now they tied a rope on each corner of the bed real tightly so it would not slip. Then, look! Look at what those men are going to do now. They are making a big hole in the roof, a hole big enough to let the bed go down into the room where Jesus was!
The roof of that house was not made of wood. None of the roofs were. Perhaps it was long, long, thick, heavy tile put together. It made a good, cool roof; it was not hard to make a hole in that place.
When the hole was big enough the men lifted up their friend and held his bed right over the hole. Each man held on to the rope on his side, then slowly, slowly, slowly, down, down, down a little more, came the bed-mat with the poor sick man lying on it.
How surprised the people inside the house were when they saw that man coming down through the hole in the roof! The four friends had let him down right in front of Jesus.
All the people watched Jesus. What would He do now? Would He make the man well who had been sick for so long? How quiet everyone was.
Jesus looked at the sick man; he looked at the sick man’s friends. He knew these friends had faith that Jesus could heal him. Jesus said to the poor sick man, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” He forgave all that man’s naughty sins. Then Jesus said, “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”
Do you know what happened? That man just got right up as well and strong as any man there; he picked up his bed he had been lying on so long, and he walked. He did not shake any more. He was well and strong. Jesus had made him well. He was healed.
How that man did thank Jesus! He was so happy! His friends were happy, too.
How glad they were that they had not given up when they could not get into the house! They found a way to get to Jesus. All of us can find Jesus by just praying and talking to Him, just as if He were standing right beside us.
Jesus can do the same wonderful things today that He did then. Jesus still heals us when we are sick if we believe He will do it when we ask Him to.