Bringing my Neighbor to Jesus
Scripture Reading — Luke 5:17-26
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. — Luke 5:19
Large crowds were following Jesus wherever he went. People were hungry for his teaching. Many people came mainly to see his miracles or to ask for one for themselves.
Hope for healing could be huge for people who had no medical care. We can imagine the paralyzed man living without hope, until he heard about Jesus the miracle worker. Some neighbors got together and carried this man to Jesus.
When they arrived and saw that they could not get into the house because the crowd was so big, they hoisted their friend to the roof and lowered him “right in front of Jesus.”
Jesus did not disappoint. First he met the man’s deepest spiritual need, forgiving his sins. Then Jesus met the man’s physical need, making him able to walk again. The man “went home praising God.”
About seven years ago, a dear colleague was hospitalized with terminal cancer. Inspired by this story, four of us who were friends of his met him in his room, wheeled him out to a patio, and shared Scripture and prayer with him in the presence of Jesus.
Jesus did not heal his cancer that day. But Jesus had already forgiven our friend’s sins. And some weeks later, our friend “went home praising God” for all eternity.
Father in heaven, we often see neighbors in need and feel helpless. Remind us that we can show your love and kindness, praying with them in your presence, in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. (AM)