Mark 2: 1-5
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralysed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’
1 Thessalonians 2: 1-2
You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.
In the passage, these four men get to the house where Jesus is ministering, but they’re too late. It’s standing room only outside, and even then they can’t get within 20 feet of Jesus.
The easy thing to do would have been to just give up, turn around and go home. Say: maybe next time. Even spiritualise it: If God wanted us to get to Jesus we’d have been able to get there. It’s too difficult, at least we tried. That could have been their attitude, and that would have been the end of it. They’d have carried their friend home and he’d still be paralysed on his mat.
But they had a different attitude, it was a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude. Whatever it takes we will get our friend to Jesus. Whatever it takes we will get through the barriers that stand in our way. Whatever it takes we will not give up until we get what we came for.
In seeking to love people, to reach out to people, to bring people into an encounter with Jesus, what are you willing to do? In reaching the broken and hurting in your community - what price are you willing to pay? What will you sacrifice? What hindrances will you move out of the way? How radical will you be?
In making your church welcoming and relevant to lost people – what price are you willing to pay? What are you willing to give up? What cherished traditions are you willing to lay down?
There will be obstacles, there will be barriers, at times it will seem impossible, but when we are willing to do whatever it takes, it’s amazing how walls comes down and barriers disappear.
Taking the roof of someone’s house to get their friend to Jesus was a very risky move. The owner of the house didn’t want a skylight. It was costly – they’d have to pay for the roof to be repaired. What if it didn’t work out? What if the crowd turned against them? What if Jesus didn’t heal their friend? What then?
There were lots of 'what ifs' and there were loads of risks. But there are always risks in doing anything new and different. And it’s always easier to play it safe. However playing it safe would only have kept their friend on his stretcher for the rest of his life.
Whenever we do everything that we can possibly do, that’s when Jesus steps in and does what only he can do. He adds His super_ to our natural to make it supernatural. All of Heaven moves with us, and nothing can stand in our way.