How easily do you get frustrated? Living in Minnesota in July means one thing….Road Construction. This some times makes it difficult to get from point A to point B. Have you ever been frustrated when you can see where you want to go, but you just can’t get there. Maybe it is a series of one ways streets that is keeping you out, or the ramp you need to take off the freeway is closed, or my personal favorite, the exit ramp is gone – they have removed it all together and just haven’t gotten around to replacing it yet. Earlier this summer they worked on the main road not far from my office and I was unable to get through. I created my own detour, it took a while and a bit of back tracking, but I did make it through.
I am amazed how easily we sometimes give in to our frustration and give up on whatever were were working towards. We give the simplest excuses for not doing something. It’s too hot to exercise, I was up to late to get up for worship this morning, the church is too cold in the summer with the AC on, the church is too hot with no AC, I don’t have time to help today my favorite show is on at 8 and I forgot to set the DVR, I don’t want people to look at me funny for praying in a restaurant, I’m too busy today to take time for devotions and prayer.
Let me introduce you to some guys who had great excuses… Their friend was crippled and couldn’t walk on his own, he had to be carried everywhere. News had broke around town that Jesus, the healing Rabbi was coming to town. The friends decide that they need to take their buddy to see the Rabbi, they know he can help.
Only one problem with their plan, everyone has heard that the Rabbi was in town. Religious leaders from all the neighboring towns have gathered. They are not dissuaded by the crowd. They grab their buddies cot and head to town. They were expecting a lot of people, but this crowd is crazy. They can not even get close to the house. The crowd is out the door and filling the front yard, some can hear, some only hope to get to Jesus when the crowd thins out.
This little gang of friends, try to press their way through the group, they flash their handicap parking pass, but they still can not get in. They did not come all this way for nothing, they know that Jesus can heal their friend. So the plan takes shape. They travel around the block to the back of the house next door and climbing up on the roof they walk over to the roof right about where Jesus is.
There is no sky light or open air atrium to allow them to see Jesus. How does that saying go, “When God closes a door, make a window?” Well they guys get started, they start pulling tiles off the roof. They hope that not too much stuff will fall in on Jesus, but they know some will. The could below starts to yell and shout, their friend is very nervous, if the crowd turns on them he can not out run the crowd… or anyone for that matter.
Finally they get a hole big enough the slip their buddy’s cot through and they lower him to Jesus. The result, as they say, is history. The plan worked they got their friend to Jesus and he was healed. Read the whole story in Luke 5:17-26.
17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When 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. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The 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?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
This leaves me with one question: What stops you from bringing others to Jesus?
What ever obstacle is before you, know this:
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus said it – I believe it – ‘nuf said