Luke 5:18-20, 24-25
“Just then some men came, carrying on a mat a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before Him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the mat through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus. Seeing their faith He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — He told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God.”
(Luke 5:18-20, 24-25 - HCSB)
Discipleship is a word that often gets thrown around in sermons and tag-lines, but rarely is considered on an individual level. In the words of Pastor Jarrid Wilson, "You are not a disciple unless you are making disciples." Which leads one to think, “Well that sure doesn't explain why it's impossible for an individual to understand. I believe the above story in Luke paints this picture beautifully.
There is a paralyzed man who is hopelessly lying on a mat surrounded by his good friends. They hear that a man has come that might be able to heal his body, and know they need to do everything within their power to find this man. These friends each take a part of his mat and head in the direction of Jesus, the ultimate Healer. As you can imagine, this miracle man has quite a crowd around him, and there is nowhere their paralyzed friend can go. None the less, they continue on to the roof of the building Jesus was located in.
By this point they have carried this man on a mat into the city that was surrounded with crowds of people, and finally found a place to get close to a man who MAY be able to heal their friend. They have physically and emotionally carried the weight and hope of their friend walking, and they've done all they could do. Now they only have one task.
They lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus' feet.
What a picture. Knowing only Jesus can save their friend. That is discipleship. Whether you are the friend or the paralyzed man, I think we all can identify with a season in our lives where that story rings true. A group of believers encouraging others to come to Jesus, helping them every step of the way, and once the road has been walked, humbly laying them at the feet of Jesus. Because we know His mercy and grace alone can get us through.
If you're thinking, "I don't know who would carry my mat" I encourage you to find a group of solid believers to encourage and do life with you. A challenge to you, reader, is to think of someone you can walk the road of life with: a co-worker, school friend, a younger Christian, someone that you can pour into. The woman who started this blog and ministry has been carrying my mat for 3 years now.
Pray for God to reveal your paralyzed man today, and take steps of faith toward bringing them to the feet of Jesus.