There is a story that tells of a time when Jesus went into a house to teach. There was such a crowd that it was “standing room only” and there was no room for anyone else to get in. Into ths situation came four men, carrying their friend, paralzed and unable to walk, on a makeshift pallet.
Undaunted by the crowd, the friends made their way to the roof of the house, and made themselves an opening, through which they lowered their friend on the pallet. Now please note what happened next, according to the Bible:
When Jesus saw their faith, he said (to the young man) “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
These men not only carried their friend with their arms, they carried him with their faith. And Jesus honored that. Some lessons from this:
First— Do all you can to bring your friends to Jesus. Carry them if you have to, but bring them.
Second— Sometimes those gathered closest to Jesus make it harder for people to come. Never mind; come anyway. (Luke, unlike Matthew and Mark, points out that the people filling the house were Pharisees and teachers of the law “who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem.” These are the sorts — respected religious leaders all — whom Jesus later denounced as hypocrites! Don’t let them interfere with the healing ministry of Christ, and don’t let them keep anyone away.)
Third — Be confident in saying “Your sins are forgiven.” God forgave every sin when Jesus went to the Cross — but a person needs to hear this and believe it in order to receive the full benefit from it.
Fourth — Having separated the man from his sin, Jesus could now heal him of whatever else oppressed him. “Which is easier?”
Fifth — One person by himself could not have brought this one to Jesus.