And again, He entered into Capernaum, after some days, it was noised that He was in the house.
And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, not so much as about the door: and He preached the Word unto them.
And they came unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was bourne of four.
And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
I am sure that you have heard this story. There are these five friends, and one of them has the palsy. I didn’t know what the palsy was, so I looked it up in the dictionary, and it is defined as “any of a variety of atonal muscular conditions characterized by tremors of the body parts, such as the hands, arms, legs, or the entire body”. So, this guy had some kind of ailment that did not allow him normal muscular function, and we can assume it was in his legs, since he was lying down on a mat, unable to walk. Anyway, his four friends were good friends. Probably every morning, they went by his house to pick him up and take him where he needed to go, and then every afternoon, they probably picked him back up and took him back home. They were dedicated to him, obviously, because that kind of friendship is not normal these days.
These friends must have heard that Jesus was in the area. He was at a home in Capernaum, teaching the gospel to a standing-room-only crowd. Jesus’ reputation for teaching the Word with power and authority had preceded Him to the town, and many there wanted to get close to Him. These five friends were no different. The four able-bodied friends must have known that if they could get their one disabled friend to the Lord, He could heal him of his ailment.
So, they arrive at the house. Maybe they knocked on the front door and there was no answer. We do not know. Maybe they knocked on the door and did get an answer. Someone may have told them that they may as well go away, because there was no way in the world that five more people were going to fit into that house, much less one on a gurney. We do not know this either. We do know that they were determined to get their friend into that house.
I have never been to Israel, so I have no idea what the houses in Israel look like. I have heard that in the first century, the houses had flat roofs, and they were made out of stuff that was not like the roofs of our twenty-first century homes here in America. I have heard that they were made out of some stuff that may have felt like coal-tar pitch, therefore giving the four friends the ability to tear the roof off of the house to get in. That is exactly what they did. They went up on the roof, lifted their friend down into the house so that that Jesus could heal his malady. Luke 5:19 says “…they went upon the housetop, and let him down throught the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.”
Jesus must have been moved by their dedication to their friend and their determination to get to Him. He knew that they knew if they could only get to the Master, their friend could get the healing that he needed. The Bible says that He saw their faith.
Does the Lord see your faith? Are you in a trial and you have tried everything else that you could think of? Are you surrounding yourself with people who have enough faith to help you to get to the Master? Does your circle of friends include people who care enough for you to carry your burdens for you?
Be encouraged. The Lord sees your needs, and He hears your prayers. He is there holding you up and meeting those needs whether you feel His presence or not. On your good days, He is there. On your not-as-good days, He is there. He sees your faith.