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Mark 016 - Some Men

Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.

Mark 2:3-4

Sometimes there is a great need, something great needs to be done. And sometimes great people rise to the occasion. These well-known people use their influence, power, and money to get something done. And we thank God for them.

But most of time here on planet Earth, great needs are filled by the great unknowns. These unknown, nameless people, seem to step in at just the right moment, giving themselves over to something bigger than themselves.

I once had a horrific accident on the side of a snow-covered mountain. Once my head stopped spinning, I started to move around, figuring out what still worked. When I tried to lift my right leg, my foot just sort of laid there on the snow. I looked down and my ankle doing an incredible impression of a left 90-degree angle.

I’ll never forget what happened next. I had my own, personal version of “some men.” A number of guys walked over and carefully carried me off that mountain. I didn’t know any of them, but they came to my rescue.

That’s who we see here. Some people. Unknown, unnamed people. We don’t know who they were or where they came from. Were they friends? Strangers? Servants? Could they be some people they ran into along the side of the road? The only thing we do know is that there were more than one of them. We assume that there were four, but that’s it.

And what did they do? Well, they didn’t hold a meeting, schedule a Zoom call, send out an email, look for help on YouTube or DIY, take a selfie or film a video. No, they just picked up this paralyzed guy, who couldn’t help them in the least, and they carried him. The guy was deadweight, but that didn’t stop them from carrying him.

When they came to a problem, the crowded house, they didn’t let that stop them. They weren’t going to be stopped by something so insignificant like a crowd. They got creative and carried the paralyzed guy onto the roof.

And once on the roof, they made an opening. They weren’t going to be stopped by something so insignificant as a roof. When it says that they dug through the roof, this included digging up dirt and grass, then removing tiles that were part of the roof[1]. With the dirt, grass, and tiles out of the way, a hole was made. And once made, they lowered the paralyzed guy down in front of Jesus.

And once they made a hole, they weren’t done. They finished their part by lowering the paralyzed man down. But they didn’t lower him down just anywhere: they lowered him down right in front of Jesus. Now their job was done.

What do you do when something comes in between you and helping someone? Do you let a “crowded house” stop you? When it gets crowded or difficult, does it discourage you? Or deter you? Or do you stay with it, looking for another way through?

And once that first problem is solved, what do you do when another one comes up? Do you let a “roof” stop you? When your way is blocked, when something is in your way, does it stall you? Or stop you? Or do you think outside the box for a creative solution.

If going onto a roof and digging a hole through it to let down a paralyzed guy isn’t thinking outside the box, then I don’t know what is. But they did more than just think, they took their thinking all the way to action.

In “The Hunt for Red October” the submarine's captain runs to meet Jack Ryan after his dangerous and improbable entrance onto the USN Dallas. The ship’s captain yells, “Make a hole[2],” before flying down the steps to meet Jack. That’s what these “some men” did, they made a hole, allowing this poor, paralyzed man to meet Jesus.

Are we willing to be “some men” who carry someone who’s nothing but dead weight? And when we come to that first obstacle or even the second, are we going to abandon them? Are we going to tell ourselves, “Nice try, but he’s too heavy. It’s too hard it’s taking too long.” Or, are we going to be like Jesus?

Jesus himself was just like these “some men.”

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:14 NLT

If he was willing to faithfully take our sin completely away, can’t we faithfully stay with the people God has brought into our lives?

[1] Luke 5:19 [2]

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