Going to Extremes
17One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?24But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
For whom are you a stretcher bearer?
Are you willing to allow someone to bring you to Jesus, to bring you to a place of healing, to ask the tough questions, to sit with you in tough times? Why or why not?
The paralyzed man's friends didn't give up when the crowds were too large to get near Jesus. How quickly do we give up when we're in need? When others are in need? How far are we willing to go to bring a friend to Jesus for the help they need?
What do you think the paralyzed man expected from Jesus that day? What do you think his friends expected from Jesus?
No matter how alone you may feel, you are not alone. So many times in the life of a church, this phrase is repeated, "If we'd only known he/she needed something, we would have been happy to help." Reach up and reach out. The time will also come when you will reach up and reach out to serve others.
Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC