I started writing this last week during VBS, but never got the chance to finish it. Then I finally did and added all of two paragraphs.....lol.
I'm helping to teach the lessons this year in VBS. I'm very honored to have been chosen for this responsibility, as this is the lynchpin to everything else that occurs each night at Vacation Bible School.
Tonight the lesson was from Mark 2 and the story of the paralyzed man. Tonight I was responsible for the behind the scenes portion of the lesson, and while I was busy doing my tasks I was thinking about the story.
In case the rest of my blogging hasn't given it away, I am a very empathetic person. When I study the Bible then, it is only natural for me to think about what a person might have been thinking and feeling when certain events were taking place. So tonight, I was thinking about those friends that cut the hole in the roof.
Work with me here and imagine your four closest friends. Imagine that tomorrow, you go out and suffer a horrific accident and you are left completely paralyzed. Now, imagine that you live in a 3rd world country, and there is no hope of physical therapy, or disability payments. Your friends, who are all fishermen and tradesmen, struggle enough to feed themselves and their own families.
Now, think of the hope they have as they hear of this great teacher who has the ability to heal people of even the most dire physical infirmities.
Actually, how much hope do you think they would have? How much hope would you have if you heard about a man such as that? Honestly? I probably wouldn't have a lot to be honest. Sounds like a scam to me.
So the first obstacle then is to even bring your paralytic friend to see Jesus in the first place, although I suppose we can assume that since the whole house was packed that there had been enough reliable testimony to give the four friends genuine hope.
In all reality, there were probably varying degrees of skepticism amongst the friends, but that's not neccesarily important to me right now.
What I was considering tonight during the lesson was how these four friend would have felt once they had taken the effort to hack through that roof and lower their friend into the room where Jesus was sitting and speaking. What I was considering was how these four friend would have felt once all of that had happened and they were witness to Jesus telling their friend to get up and walk....and he did...
Think of yourself as one of the friends.
Now think of how you would have felt about your friends if you were the guy on the mat.
I think there is another lesson here too beneath the surface. It's an extrapolation beyond the point Jesus was teaching, but I wonder if it isn't important nonetheless. Maybe it's even too simple, but I'll tell you anyway.
I think it's important to note that it took four friends.