A Commando Raid by Four Friends
A story based on Mark 2:1-12 by The Rev. Nigel Mumford.
(Circa 32 AD in Capernaum …The Holy Land)
Five friends were hanging out when one had a bright idea of how they might help their friend who was paralyzed.
“Hey, I heard Jesus is in town . . . let’s take our buddy to the Master, so he might walk again!”
“OK!” came the unanimous and quick reply.
The four picked up the mat, upon which their lame friend laid, and carried it to the house where “The Man” was said to be. As they neared the house, the crowd in front was so dense they couldn’t get near the entrance.
One of the four hatched a plan that the others embraced without hesitation. The four, whose names are unknown to this very day, boldly executed the plan. They picked up their buddy on his mat and carefully scaled the back wall of the house until they reached a staircase that led to the roof.
This was perhaps, the first recorded Commando raid!
Once safely ensconced on the roof, they chose the best place to begin digging through the packed earthen roof … unintentionally showering the VIP religious guests below. As pebbles pelted covered heads, those listening below were not pleased. Jesus was teaching and they didn’t appreciate this disruption.
One by one those below looked up, until eventually all saw daylight streaming through the large hole overhead. To their shock and amazement, they watched as a man, bound to his mat, was carefully lowered until he rested at the feet of the Master Himself.
Can’t you see Jesus smiling, broadly, while this was going on? He knew… He just knew…
Now here is my take away from this historic moment, I can see and hear:
“By your faith,” Jesus said while looking up at the shadowy outlines of the four friends above, who had executed this potentially felonious act … and continued speaking as He turned His eyes upon the man on the mat before Him, “you have been healed. Pick up your mat and go home.”
And the man did just that.
The amazed witnesses marveled aloud, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Dear people, you have choices, if you are sick: You can pray. You can contact the doctor or call an ambulance. You can get your friends to pray for you and carry you by their prayers to the Lord … much as these four unnamed chaps did. (These days you’ll need more than a shovel and the police will likely be waiting below to greet you!)
I don’t know about you, but I want friends like these four fellows in my life.
Wait, what am I saying? I have friends like these in my life! Yes, indeed!
Just 3 years ago, I was paralyzed and comatose for three weeks. Thousands of friends, many yet unnamed or unknown to me, lowered me “thorough the roof” on the “stretchers” of their prayers!
From October 23-25th, 2009, on the brink of death from sepsis, while my liver and kidneys were shutting down, and my lungs filled with water as my body temperature rose, dangerously; the prayers of my unnamed “friends” in Christ, deposited me directly before the One Who is able to heal.
As Jesus Christ answered their prayers, He turned His eyes toward me and rescued me from death’s grip. He overcame the predictions and assertions of my medical providers, that I was dying; and He boldly restored me to this life.
The corporate prayers of thousands saved my life!
I am left with two simple words, which I say several times a day … “Thank You!” I thank God for all my “friends” who prayed that I would live!
So let’s agree to spend our lives living like those four unnamed friends … let’s live as true friend and readily pray for one another. If you are sick, do ask your friends to pray. I am a true believer in corporate prayer!
Dear people, I am alive because of corporate prayer. Thanks be to God!
Alive today because of His Promises,
Fr. Nigel Mumford+