The Man Who Came Through The Roof
by Mrs. Thelma H. Jenkins
Yes - he really did, and I'll tell you how it happened.
We don't know what his name was, but he was paralysed - that means that he could not walk. No-one could do anything to make him better and he just had to lie down all day and every day. However, he had some friends who were very fond of him and they must have heard about the wonderful miracles of the Lord Jesus - how He healed people who were blind or lame or deaf (this was a long time before He was crucified, of course). They suggested to their friend that perhaps Jesus could heal him. "But I can't walk - how can I get to Him?" asked the sick man. "We are strong," replied his friends, "and we will tie ropes to each corner of your mattress and we will carry you to the Lord Jesus."
So that was what they did - but when they arrived at the house where the Lord Jesus was preaching, they had a great disappointment. There were so many people there, all crowding round, that they could not get anywhere near the door. What could they do? Then one of the friends had an idea. The houses in that country were not like ours; they had flat roofs, and people often used to sit or walk on the roofs of their houses. They were not made of hard tiles, like our roofs, but just with clay and straw which could easily be removed and put back again. There was often a little staircase outside, so that people could climb on to the roof. Although it was rather difficult, the four friends struggled up the staircase (trying not to hurt their friend on his mattress) until they were all on the top of the house. Then they began to remove the clay and the straw until there was quite a large hole.
Down below, the people who were listening to the Lord Jesus suddenly heard a noise above their heads and bits of dust began to fall on them. They looked up and saw a hole in the ceiling and the sun shining in. Then the sunlight was blocked out and down came the sick man on his mattress. Everybody was very surprised, and I expect the four friends were leaning over the top, looking down to see what would happen. I wonder what did happen?
The sick man just lay there, looking up into the face of the Lord Jesus, Who said a very strange thing. He said, "Son, be of good cheer. Don't be unhappy any more. Your sins are forgiven you." Well, that wasn't what the man wanted. He wasn't worried about his sins, he just wanted his legs to be healed so that he could walk like other people. But the Lord could see into the man's heart; He knew the sort of life he had lived, and He knew that this man needed his sins to be forgiven much more than he needed to be healed.
Now, beside the ordinary people who were crowding round, there were some important men from the synagogue (the church) called Scribes and they didn't like the Lord Jesus. They did not know that He was special, that He was the Son of God; they thought He was only a carpenter. Also, they were jealous of Him because all the people wanted to listen to Him instead of listening to them. Well, these men did not say anything, but in their hearts they were thinking, "Jesus should not have said that. Who can forgive sins but God only?" Well, they were quite right. It is only God Who can forgive sins. They did not say this out loud, but the Lord could see into their hearts, just as He could see into the heart of the sick man (and just as He can see into the heart of every man and woman, boy and girl). He said to them, "I know what you are thinking. You are thinking in your hearts that it is easy to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you' because no-one can see if they are forgiven. But it is much harder to say, 'Take up your bed and walk' because everybody can see if that happens or not. Now I will show you that I have power on earth to forgive sins." Turning to the sick man, He said, "Arise. Get up, take up your bed (mattress) and go to your own home."
Immediately, the sick man, who perhaps had not walked for years and years, felt power come into his legs and he stood up in front of everyone, rolled up his mattress and walked out into the street where his friends were waiting for him. Everybody, even the Scribes, were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this before!"
So you see that the Lord Jesus proved that He was the Son of God in two ways. He showed that He had power to heal the man's body and that He had power to forgive sins. They had said, "Who can forgive sins but God?" Well, that is right - only God can forgive us when we sin against Him. If you sinned against me - if you stole some money from my purse and then you were sorry and asked me to forgive you - I could forgive you for what you had done to me, but I could not forgive all your many sins (including that one) against God.
Although it was lovely for the man to have his legs healed so that he could walk like other people, it was even better to have his sins forgiven, because although he was healed, one day his body would die. But if his sins were forgiven, that was much more important because it meant that, when he died, he would be able to live with the Lord Jesus in heaven.
"WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS BUT GOD ONLY?" (Mark 2 verse 7)
We must never forget that important verse, because it proves to us that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God.
Copyright © Family Matters 1996