Sunday, 13 November 2011

Holy Vandalism?

“And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.” (Mark 2:4; ESV)

How far are we prepared to go towards ensuring that the people who are important to us get to meet Jesus? Is it only an occasional or even rare mentioning of our faith?

Has religious proselytizing gotten such a bad rap that you and I only cautiously, if we do it at all, share our faith out of a desire to have others come and know the Jesus whom we worship and call Lord? Or have we become so consumed with what we perceive to be the errors in the faith walks of others, that we have missed what is possibly the most important thing of all? I worry about that sometimes.

I was thinking about the event with the paralytic. Kudos to his friends for wanting to get their buddy to see Jesus, and kudos to them for knowing that Jesus was his only hope. They get to the house where Jesus was discussing the things of God, a house which the Amplified Bible suggests was probably Peter’s home, only to find that they couldn’t even get anywhere near the door, much less inside to see Jesus.

I asked myself, what would I have done? If I were one of the guys carrying my buddy on a stretcher to Jesus, I’m ashamed to say that I probably would have turned back. “It’s no use,” I likely would have said to the others with me, “we can’t get anywhere near Jesus. If we were alone, we might be able to push part way through this crowd, but carrying George (no offense, George), not a chance! Forget it; it’s no use! Let’s go. Anyone for pizza?”

Or perhaps, I might have gotten my priorities screwed up and gotten caught up in the religious discussions with the scribes and other religious leaders who Mark tells us were also there that day. I might have forgotten about my buddy’s need to see Jesus as I argued theology and blogged about the problems in the institutional church. In my perceived piety, would I have forgotten the importance of walking in love and godly relationships? Would I have failed to show him the real Jesus, and not just the junk that man often tacks on to Him?

Thankfully for the paralytic, his friends didn’t do what I likely would have done. They saw the urgency of the situation, and were not deterred by the obstacles before them. They stayed focused. In their way of thinking, it was imperative that their buddy saw Jesus on that day. Coming back tomorrow when some of the crowds would likely have dispersed was not good enough for them. There was an overwhelming urgency that their friend should meet Jesus today!

What really amazes me about this event is that when all else failed, they even resorted to vandalism to ensure their friend meet Jesus. I can’t help but wonder what the home owner thought about his roof being dismantled like that? What do you suppose was going through his mind as plaster began falling from the ceiling and he suddenly discovered that he had a skylight where none had existed a few moments before? What would your reaction have been if that were your house?

Now, I am not suggesting that vandalism is ever justifiable, but I am reminded of the urgency of the moment for the non-believer. Paul says, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2; ESV). One thing that none of us knows is when we will take our final breath. Suppose for our friend, that final breath were to come tonight and we did nothing about introducing him to Jesus today. Could you live with yourself knowing as you do what the Bible teaches about the fate of the non-believer after death? Or have we become so lethargic that we’ve actually tuned out that reality? Lord, may it not be so.

How far are we prepared to go towards ensuring that the people who are important to us get to meet Jesus while it is yet called “today?” God help us to see the urgency of the moment. God keep us focused.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons


  1. Thanks, Will. Point well taken: Jesus' power to forgive and heal is released when that which man has built is moved aside.


  2. Good point Will. Unfortunately some of those we really love, like a son, will not hear Christ from us. That is for someone else to do. I have tried many times, not in your face, but just talking and casually talking Jesus and I get, "Don't want to hear it mom!" I pray someone can reach him or the Lord will bring him to end of himself and he will cry out. Sometimes we can't reach those we love most. A sad truth.