November 1, 2015
The crowd pressed inward to hear the Messiah teach, eager listeners pushing to the front, wide-eyed and anxious for a miracle. The soothing voice of Jesus drifted on the hot air, refreshing the ears of poor men and women with hope. Some leaned against the clay walls of the house tingeing their sleeves with dust. Certain husbands used their wives as props, resting their hands upon the shoulders, studiously absorbing every parable and principle taught by Jesus.
Over in the corner various scribes from the temple muttered occasionally about something the teacher said, looking at one another in sardonic fashion, shrugging their shoulders, extending their hands like confused children and posing once again in a religious posture of patronizing observation. You could distinguish them from the lowly publicans, for they were dressed in colorful silk garments, and wore headpieces manufactured by the best seamstress in town. They carried themselves with affluent swagger, mouths curved in perpetuating smirks, as if they were always on cue to speak a wise word of correction to some infidel beneath them. They were huddled together at every meeting Jesus conducted, as if they were a modern day football defense ready to make a goal line stance against any spiritual teaching Jesus tried to put in the hungry hearts of the people. They despised his teaching. But worse, they hated his healing power.
Outside the house where sunbeams cooked the dry ground, four men shuffled along bearing the burden of their paralyzed friend on a cot. They were late for the meeting, and as they looked at the oversized crowd spilling from the house they knew it would be impossible to penetrate. They looked around. They conferred among themselves briefly, debating whether to come back later, but finally resolved to do the only thing left that made sense. They would climb up on the roof.
If the paralytic had been a renowned politician from the area, or the son of a great celebrity, he would no doubt have been granted quick access to the front of the line, the crowd quickly parting to make way for the dignitary. But he wasn’t an important person with regards to politics or religion. He was an ordinary man with an extraordinary problem. Access would not come easy, but neither would it be ignored. His friends determined among themselves to do whatever it took to seize Christ’s attention. Aren’t you glad access in the kingdom of God is not based on your name, but on Jesus’ name? Listen now…