Sunday, February 10, 2019

How Dedicated

How Dedicated
February 11, 2019
Matthew 5:19  "Whey 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."

Jesus was in town, teaching to a packed house. It was literally in a house. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit was enabling Him to heal the sick, but the day He was in this particular house He was in teaching mode. Word had spread that He had been healing the sick, so four friends carried their paralytic friend into town, to request a healing. When they arrived at the packed house, they tried to find a way to push past the crowds to get to Jesus, but it was too difficult to get five people through such a tight squeeze. Rather than sending one of the friends inside to find Jesus and make the request which could risk being denied, they decided to figure out a way to present him the Jesus. They thought surely if the Lord could see him, Jesus would instantly have compassion on him and perform the healing. They rationed it was a good idea to lower him through the roof.

The house was not made of a normal roof with solid structure that we typically think. It was not a full, load-bearing roof. Some roofs you could walk on but this roof was described as having roofing tiles. Roofing tiles were not load-bearing, they were stiffened, clay shingles that kept the weather out, not to bear the weight of one or five humans. But the men risked walking on the beams of the roof, risked falling through with one poorly placed step, risked knocking tiles onto the people down below, in order to anchor their friend through a hole to get to Jesus. These four men dismembered the integrity of the roof to find a way to access Jesus. They couldn't lower him vertically, they apparently had to lower him almost lying down on a mat. There was significant risk to damaging the wholeness of the roof, with five men up there, but the risk was worth it to these men. They were desperate for their friend to be healed. The Bible mentions this paralytic as not necessarily having family. Back then this paralytic was likely a beggar. It wasn't his mom and dad that brought him to Jesus, it was a few dedicated friends. 

These men were determined to get their friend in front of Jesus, knowing Jesus would do the rest of the work. It was likely a daunting trek to get him there and an arduous task, risky, to lower him through the roof. But they were determined. They cared enough about this man to get him in front of Jesus.

If you were paralyzed, and there was a chance for healing, you'd want four dedicated friends to get you in front of Jesus. Surely you'd like to receive all that Jesus had to offer you. But what if you were one of those four friends? Are you like one of those four friends today, for someone else? If you were to write the tale of your exploits on behalf of putting others in front of Jesus, how long would it be? Would there be enough to write a full-length autobiography of all that you've done for others, to bring them to Jesus? Or would it be a short story, maybe a paragraph or two. How dedicated are you to others, to make sure they meet Jesus? What efforts are you willing to put forth, what dedication are you showing, what determination are you living out to bring people to Jesus? What have you risked to put others in front of Christ? Are you dedicated to yourself or are you dedicated to make sure others have all the opportunity in the world to meet Jesus? 

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matt 5:17-26, Matt 9:35-38, John 15:13-17

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