Yesterday, our guest speaker at church spoke about the story in the gospel of Matthew Chapter 9 . This is the one where Jesus is speaking at someone’s house and draws a big crowd. There are people in the doorways and windows. There is a man who is paralyzed, on a bed/stretcher/mat ( I guess wheelchairs had not yet been invented!) and his 4 friends wanted to get him to Jesus to get healed. Seeing that there is no way they can get him through the crowds, they think “outside the box”, or in this case, outside the house. They went up to the roof, BROKE THROUGH THE ROOF, and lowered him down. When Jesus saw their faith He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Then when the Scribes start getting upset, “Who does this Jesus fellow think he is, forgiving sins!” — Jesus heals the man. He tells him, “Get up, take your bed and go home.” I would guess the Scribes were speechless at that point; I picture their mouths hanging open.
Now, what always got me in this story is— if that was MY roof, I would be pretty upset. The 4 friends come by, open the roof, drop the guy down, and then the guy walks out, bed in hand.
Did they fix the roof afterwards? The text doesn’t say. I “assume” they did. 😉
Then the guest speaker told us this twist, which never occurred to me:
Matthew the tax collector was sitting at his tax office. From this text it sounds like it was across the street from the house. If this were true, Matthew would have been watching the house, and would have watched the 4 friends carry the guy up on the roof, watched them lower him down, and then watch him walk out the front door! So when Jesus came over and said “Follow Me”, Matthew didn’t need much convincing. He just got up and followed.
I always liked this “roof top” story because it encourages me to think outside the box. Jesus was not upset that they had messed up the roof. If he could heal the man, certainly he could fix the roof.
After all, Jesus was a Carpenter.
- Mark 2:1-12 – Sin and Healing (readingacts.wordpress.com)
- John Berger explains “The Calling of St Matthew” by Caravaggio (musiqdragonfly.wordpress.com)
- Jesus, Interrupted. (stumblingzombie.wordpress.com)