And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralysed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Luke 5:18–19
I like some of the smaller characters that show up in the New Testament. Perhaps because I feel I can identify with them more than some of the spiritual greats. These friends in Luke 5, whose names we don’t even know, taught me something that gave me a whole new perspective.
There are times when I feel utterly useless and ill-equipped to say anything in the face of a friend’s problem. I was facing one of those times. Then I remembered the story of the paralysed man whose friends lowered him through a roof. Their role wasn’t to make their friend better, they just had to get him to Jesus and Jesus would do the rest.
My job wasn’t to say something that magically made all my friend’s problems disappear, or even to say all the right things. It was to carry her to Jesus, to help her get to the only one who really understood her pain when she couldn’t get there on her own. What happened at that point wasn’t up to me, just as what happened in the story wasn’t anything to do with the men peering through the hole they’d just made in a stranger’s roof. They loved their friend enough to help him get to Jesus, the rest was up to God.
There are people like these nameless men sprinkled throughout the bible. God doesn’t only use the great spiritual giants to teach us, He uses the ‘little’ people too. Normal people simply helping out a friend. People like you and me.
Emma Whittall works in a pre-school in Stockholm, is a children’s worker, church planter, wife & mother. These devotionals were first published in Swedish as part of Andaktsboken för mammor år 2