Whatever it takes
Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed 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.
- Mark 2:3-4
What would it feel like to carry your friend to Jesus and run into a barrier like this crowd?
Imagine your friends and family, your coworkers and neighbors, your butcher and your baker and your candlestick maker … all of them huddled around Jesus and all of them in your way. Would you feel anger? Confusion? Disappointment? Impatience?
The decision to climb up to the roof and start digging would have come at significant financial and social expense. These friends would have been expected to repair the damage. The homeowner would have been furious. The digging through the roof would have dropped rubble and dirt down on the heads of the crowd swarming around Jesus. Can you hear the shouting?
How soon before the crowd begins whispering about these men? How disrespectful! How undignified! How irresponsible! How shameful!
These men took a tremendous risk. They didn’t know how Jesus would respond. Jesus may have rejected their implicit request for help. He might have preached a sermon about their disrespect and the importance of honoring the property of your neighbors. He might have called down fire and lightning to smite them for their behavior.
But these guys would do whatever it takes.
They would do whatever it takes to help their friend. They would do whatever it takes to make a difference. They would do whatever it takes to get their friend to Jesus.
What are some of the barriers in your life to experiencing radical friendship? What would keep you from bringing your friends to Jesus? Invite the Lord to draw your attention to those barriers and to give you the courage to overcome them.