RAISING THE ROOF LUKE 5:17-26 Pastor Stephen Muncherian April 29, 2007
with me to Luke 5 - starting at verse 17.
There’s a story about a husband who came home from
work.As he pulled his
car into the driveway he had to avoid driving over 2 bicycles and a doll
stroller.When he got
into the house, it was chaos - toys all over the place
- on the floor - the furniture - piles of clothes
Trying to avoid dealing with the chaos - he headed
into the kitchen for a small snack - expecting to find the snack
his wife usually had prepared for him and dinner
cooking on the stove.Instead he found the breakfast dishes
still on the table and the sink full of unwashed
dishes.Needless to say
dinner wasn’t cooking.There was no snack.
As he headed up stairsin
search of his wife - he was nearly knocked over by his
5 screaming kids running down the stairs - in various states of
undress.Finally, after making his
way pastmore laundry - more toys -
and several new drawings on the walls - all done in permanent ink - he encountered his wife -
half asleep in bed.
By this time the husband was really frustrated and
angry - so he yelled out, “What
have you been doing all day?”
To which his wife answered, “Every
day you come home and ask me what I did all day.Well, today I didn’t do it.”
Partnership - or lack of it - the partnership of a
husband and wife.
Its amazing to consider that Jesus - the God of all
creation - Savior of mankind - should involve us in
His ministry.God gives
us the awesome privilege of working with Him as He
works in human history - works to bring humankind into
a restored relationship with Him.
Coming to Luke 5 - thinking about dedicating this
building - to God and His ministry - we want take the
opportunity to focus on the partnership that Jesus gives to us in His
Luke 5 - starting at verse 17:One day
He - Jesus - was
teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers
of the law sitting there, who had come from every
village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and
the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform
healing.And some men
were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and
they were trying to bring him in and to set him down
in front of Him.But not
finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof and let him down through the
tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the
crowd, in front of Jesus.
Let’s pause there.This
is a pretty familiar scene.So
let’s touch on a few details just to get them fresh in
Jesus has been traveling around Galilee.He comes back to Capernaum - up on the north shore of
the Sea of Galilee - probably to the home of Peter and
Andrew - which was kind of a base-of-operations for Him.
found out that He was back they all showed up -
everyone - His friends - His supporters - people hoping to see a miracle - His enemies - the Pharisees and the
teachers of the law - also known as scribes - the respected theologians and
religious teachers of the day.They
all crowded into
Point being, the placed was packed.The Pharisees - the scribes - are given places
of respect - seats up front.Everyone
else is packed into the house like sardines.The doorway is filled with
peering in the windows.The
crowd is spilling into the street.People outside are trying to hear what’s going
on inside.People inside
are just trying to breathe.Jesus
is in the middle of all this - teaching.Then there are the four men carrying a
paralyzed man on a bed.
A typical Palestinian house at that time was a small
one-room place with a flat roof.The roof was made of wooden beams with tiles
set between them - then thatch and earth were placed
over them.There’s this noise on the
roof - a kind of tearing and scraping.Little
pieces of dust
start falling on
Jesus.Then little chunks of stuff
start coming down.
Wouldn’t you have liked to have been there - to see
this first hand?
Imagine Peter - if this was his house - Peter the
burley - rough - fisherman - can you imagine him
standing there stressing trying to figure out what to
here in my living room talking to people and someone’s
tearing my roof apart.Do
I just stand here and act spiritual or go up on the
roof and punch somebody’s lights out.”
Whole sections of roof start coming down.The crowd is trying to move
back away from the shower of debris.Then
the whole ceiling just gives way.
There’s a hole
in the ceiling
- four heads peek over the edge.Jesus and everyone else are looking up at the
faces in the hole.Then a man on a bed is lowered down.Jesus
looks at this man lying on the bed - with expectation looking
at Jesus.He sees his four friends on the
roof - with
pleading eyes - peering
down through the hole.
Are we together?Think
with me about the partnership that Jesus gives us in
A while back I
read about two ladies - both of whom were concert
pianists - both of whom had had strokes.One
was paralyzed on
the right side.One was paralyzed on the left
side.So that neither of them could
play the piano.Somehow
they found each other and began to play as partners.One
played the right
hand part.The other played the left hand part.
In ministry with Jesus there are two parts - two
hand there are theparts
of ministry that Jesus gives
us the responsibility for.On the other hand there are
the thingsthat Jesus deals with - His
In Luke 5:17-19
the focus is on
what we’re responsible for.In ministry with Jesus ITS OUR
RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THE SECONDARY ISSUES OF A
Share that with at least two people around you:“We deal
with the secondary issues.”
There are a number of secondary issues here - the
physical need of the paralytic - the huge crowd - transportation - and so on.
These four men were determined to carry the stretcher
of their friend.They were determined to find the
answers to each problem as it arose - finding the home
- knowing where and how to cut the hole in the roof -
then risking everything to lower their friend right in
front of Jesus.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “There are friends who
pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who
sticks closer than a brother.”
There are examples of this in Scripture: David and Jonathan
and their special friendship and the ways in which
they encouraged, supported, and loved each other -
even in the face of death (1 Samuel 18). Aaron and Hur
- and how they held up the arms of Moses in the defeat
of the Amalakites (Exodus 17). Paul and the
young pastor Timothy (Galatians 6:2). Peter and
his disciple Mark (1 Peter 5:13).
That’s partnership - be a friend that sticks
closer than a brother - be a stretcher bearer - be the
brother or sister in Christ - the person of
encouragement and support who stands by the side of a
friend no matter what the difficulty.These are the secondary issues that Jesus gives
us responsibility for.
Let’s go one step further.
All of us have times in our lives when we’re like that paralytic - laid
out on a
to be lifted up.We don’t know when those
times will come - we can’t schedule them - tap them into our Palm Pilot.A
death - illness - unemployment - situations at work or
at home.They come often without
preparation and warning.Suddenly there we are.
What destroys people - often with suicidal results -
is when people find themselves on stretchers and they
feel that no one cares.There’s no one there to carry their
stretcher.Times when its easy to give up on
faith and God and life.If
there’s no one there to carry our stretcher - we’re on dangerous ground.
On your sermon notes - on the screen here - there are
two pictures of stretchers - a bed with four handles.Notice that the first
picture has “me” written on the stretcher and blank
spaces on the handles.Put
your name in the middle - “me” is you.
Then think about
those handles.If you
were to put a name on each of those handles - the name
of a brother or sister in Jesus who would carry your
stretcher - who you
could go to for help - or maybe you’ve relied on them
in the past - who would they be?Take time - today
- tomorrow - to write in the names of those people.
Now, look at the picture of the second stretcher.On one of the handles is a
place for your name - “me” is you.The other three handles are blank.
ever tried to lift a loaded stretcher by yourself?Pretty near impossible.That’s not God’s design for
the church.A stretcher
has four handles.We get
to lift together.Share
that with the person next to you.“We lift together.”
Praise God for what He does through us as a
Tree that Dee Thorne heads up - how many of you have
been on the prayer tree being prayed for or sent out a
Benevolence ministry that Debbie Jones coordinates.Many of you have been
blessed through that ministry.Mary
Liz sending out cards on behalf of the church.How many of you have gotten
one of those cards?People
who provide meals.Who
help others move - provide transportation - fix
things.And we could go
on naming stretcher bearers in this congregation.
Think about the names that can go on those handles -
maybe individuals - people who can go with you as you
visit - who pray with you about specific needs - who
can serve with you in meeting those needs.We lift together.
Imagine how the lives of those friends were changed by
what happened that day.How would the paralytic
remember his friends?“They
carried me to Jesus.”
Years later the
remember the day their friend’s life was changed
remember the role they played - their part in that
hear them telling their grandchildren about it. “I was there.I carried the stretcher.It
was my saw we used to cut open the roof.” - the secondary issues.
our awesome privilege given by Jesus - to deal with the secondary
issues of a problem.
Going on in Luke
5 - starting
with verse 20 - starting in verse 20 - the
focus shifts to Jesus’ responsibility.JESUS ALWAYS DEALS WITH THE MAIN
ISSUE OF A PROBLEM.
Say that with me,“Jesus
deals with the main issue.”
Its important that we understand the main issue here.
their faith -
the trust that these four friends and the paralytic
had in Jesus - He - Jesus - said,
“Friend your sins are forgiven you.”
Now, if we think about it - that’s a really strange thing to say.At this point Jesus should have said
something like, “Thy paralysis
is healed go thou in
peace.”But the physical problem is a
When Jarius’ daughter was dying - Jarius came to Jesus
and pleaded with him, “Please come! Heal her!She’s dying!”There’s
an urgent physical need. (Mark 5:21 ff.)When Lazarus was dying, his sisters sent word
to Jesus, “Please come and help.He’s dying!” - an urgent physical need.
But in Capernaum that day the need was different.This wasn’t an urgent life
and death situation.If
this man continued to be paralyzed tomorrow he’d still
The main issue here is not physical - its spiritual.Jesus sees past the obvious
to the real need of this man.The main issue here is sin -
specifically the sin of the paralytic.
One wonders - what burdens this man was
carrying - bitterness - depression - despair - guilt?What sins was he bound up in?Reading the text we don’t know.But Jesus knew.
Jesus is dealing with the main issue.
scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying,
“Who is this man who speaks such blasphemies?Who can forgive sins, but
That is a great question.Isn’t
it?What right does Jesus have to
say this?Only God has
the authority to forgive sins.
Verse 22:But Jesus, aware of their
reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you
reasoning in your hearts?Which
is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’
or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’But
so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority
on earth to forgive sins” - if you want a physical sign
that I have the authority to deal with the spiritual
needs of your life - He said to the paralytic, “I
say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go
he got up before them, and picked up what he had been
lying on, and went home glorifying God.They were all struck with astonishment and began
glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying,
“We have seen remarkable things today.”
The whole point of the miracle is the physical demonstration
of Jesus’ spiritual authority.Jesus
heals the paralytic physically to prove that He can
heal the paralytic spiritually.
How incredible it must have been - overwhelming - for
that paralytic man - walking out of that house -
assured that his sins were forgiven - his life
need to see for ourselves.Like
the paralytic -
like those who were there in the crowd - we need to
realize what God has done for us - remarkable things.
The word “remarkable” is the Greek word “paradoxa”
which is where we get the English?“paradox” from.A
paradox is what?when we
have two things - both seem true - but they seem to
contradict each other.A
paradox goes beyond the ability of our minds to sort
it out.In other words -
what the crowd saw happening - went beyond their
Stick with me.“Paradoxa”
- the Greek word - is actually two words put together.“Para” meaning “from” - the
source of something.And
- the second word - “doxa” -which is the word for
“glory.”As in the glory
of God - God’s splendor - His reputation - what makes
Him worthy of all honor and praise.
Putting all that together - what these people saw blew
their minds.The only
possible explanation they had for the paradox - how
can a man forgive sins - was that it was a God thing.When it comes to the main
issues of our lives - only God can deal with those.
God is passionate about forgiving our sin.He’s come in the flesh.He’s lived with us.He’s died on the cross.He’s alive.Jesus has the authority to forgive sins.
We need to hear His
morning.We’re all too
aware of our failure - the things about us that we’d
be ashamed if anyone knew.We
know about our sin and disobedience against God.We want to be set free from
guilt.We need to know
God’s power to heal us inwardly.Jesus has the authority to meet our deepest
needs - to change us inwardly - forever.
That’s the tremendous reality of what Jesus does when
He deals with the main issues in our lives.
Grab onto this reality - the awesome partnership that
God privileges us to be a part of.God giving us the privilege of dealing with the
secondary issues - while He deals with the main issues
of our lives.That’s
amazing isn’t it?The
partnership that God allows us to be a part of.Amen?
All of this partnership takes place in a house - a
physical structure - a place of meeting and ministry -
a specific location in Capernaum - where people knew
they’d find Jesus.
Are we together on this?The
building we’re in - a physical structure - a place of
meeting and ministry - a specific location in Merced.A place where God privileges
us to deal with secondary issues - caring for needs -
leading people into a relationship with God -
equipping them to serve Him - while Jesus deals with
the main issues of our lives.Partnership.Are we together on the
The house is a tool that Jesus uses to draw people
into His teaching.This
building is what?A tool
- for Jesus to use - even allowing us the privilege of
partnership.A tool to be
used - according to His will - for His glory.We’re together on that?
There’s a huge challenge in all that for us today.
Inside the house are the Pharisees and teachers of the
law.Their main concern
is about theological issues - legalities of God’s law
- righteousness by works - even their own privileged
authoritative position in the community.They’re trying to trap Jesus.Questioning His authority.Reasoning from their own wisdom.
How easy it is for us as Christians to be so caught up
in our own debates and dialogue - studies and words -
spinning our wheels over fine points of theology and
doctrine and styles of worship - talking
“Christianeze” - while people are left outside on
stretchers needing Jesus.
The crowd is trying to squeeze inside.Jostling for position.Trying
get a glimpse of Jesus.Trying
to hear what He has to say.Fighting
for the front row - interesting thoughtThat’s not necessarily a bad thing.Is it?They’re pressing forward to hear Jesus.
Not bad - except who’s excluded - left outside?the paralytic.
Why was the crowd there?Verse
17 says what?Because the
power to perform healing was there.Always is with Jesus.
Jesus might perform a miracle.They’re
there for themselves - the entertainment factor.Jesus - the “Israeli Idol.”Maybe even for a little
miracle in their lives.Maybe
to watch Jesus and the Pharisees go at it.All facing inward with their
backs to the those who need to come in.
How easy it is for us as Christians to spend our time
an money on what benefits us - even spiritual stuff -
going to seminars and reading books and attending
Bible studies and Sunday School and services of
worship - listening to Christian music - watching
Christian TV - DVDs - studying the Christian life and
evangelism and growing deeper in our walk with God -
comparing churches and pastors and worship experiences
- caught up in a wonderful Christian life - our
Christian culture - pressing forward towards Jesus -
while people outside these walls have no clue what it
means to personally know Jesus as their Savior.
Most people we
rub shoulders with during the week really don’t care
about our theology or what fellowship group we’re in
or whether or not we’re part of a youth group or some
kind of Bible study - even the awesomeness of this
building.What most people care about
is seeing the love of Jesus Christ tangibly
His church.Right?Seeing people that genuinely
care about each other.Seeing
people who are willing to reach outside the walls of
this building and pick up the stretchers laying around
Question.Would it be
okay if Jesus broke a few roof tiles?Took out a window or two?Maybe even brought this whole building down?What if God wanted to break
a few tiles in your life?If
He really rocked your comfort zone?If God decides to shove us out of our little
boxes?Move us forward
into ministries that really stretched our faith and
How we answer the question points out the attitude of
our hearts.Who we’re
here for.Who’s tool this
is.This building and
ministry - including our very lives - need to be
totally sacrificed - surrendered to God and left in
His control - otherwise there is no partnership - and
those who need Jesus are left outside.
Isn’t that what this afternoon’s dedication is all
ourselves to His partnership using His tool according
to His will for His glory.
paralytic outside the walls that’s important.People around us are waiting
for us to pick up their stretchers.