Sunday, December 5, 2010


1. They sought help: The paralytic man had sought the help of his friends, and they were all seeking the help of Jesus. The man was unable to help himself, to secure forgiveness and wholeness by himself. The same was true of all the friends of the man. They were unable to provide forgiveness and wholeness to the sick man. They too knew that they needed the help of Jesus and of one another.

2. They believed and had confidence in Jesus’ power to forgive sins and to heal. They believed that if they came Jesus had the power to help and that He loved and cared enough to help. They had to face a series of inconveniences, the man was bedridden, they had to carry him along with his bed through the streets, and the huge crowd gathered around Jesus made it impossible to take the man in. What desperation!

3. They persisted enormous difficulty. They did not give up. They went around to the side or back of the house and climbed up to the roof with the bed of the man. They removed some of the roof and used ropes to lower the man’s bed below, right before the feet of Jesus. They were desperate, their need was great and they were helpless without Jesus. Such a spirit touched the Lord and it still touches Him today.

4. The man was definitely seeking the forgiveness of sins as well as healing of body. It was a common belief of that day that suffering was due to sin. The man’s mind was upon his sin as the cause of his problem. Thus Jesus both forgives and heals him.

5. House: Many houses of Jesus’ day had an outside stairway that climbed up to a second floor. The roof was easily reached from the stairway. The roof was flat and made of tile-like rocks matted together with a straw and clay-like substance. The roofs were sturdy enough for people to sit upon and carry on conversations and other activities. These men dug and scooped out an opening through the roof. Nothing was going to stop them from reaching Jesus.

When a group of people manifest their profound faith by their perseverance we see another group of people who were keen on finding fault with Jesus. The attitude of the Pharisees clearly shows that human beings have the capacity to find fault even in the most perfect Being, the Son of God. We sometimes form part of the first group and several other times we form part of the second group. It is rather easy to find fault, (after all they were sitting comfortably inside the house) but difficult to find the Messiah in faith (they had to literally break open the roof to enter the house). To which group do we all belong to?

The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
William Barclay the New Daily Study Bible

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