Have the compassion to connect others to Christ.
For decades, Sunday School curriculum for children has included “teaching pictures.” These are typically very nicely rendered paintings that are then printed and distributed to teachers all over the country. One of these pictures that I recall from my childhood portrayed the friends lowering the paralytic into the house where Jesus stood teaching.
What strikes me about my memory of this picture is how uninvolved the friends looked. They seemed as bored as a bunch of suburban guys out mowing their grass. “Okay, after we finish lowering this guy through the hole in the roof, we’ll head over to my house and watch the game,” their faces seem to say.
I mention this because these guys had to have some powerful motivation. What would it take for you to not only carry your friend across town but to climb up on the roof and then tear up the house in order to gain access? Were these guys related to the paralyzed man? Did they know him before his illness? Was he just a great friend despite the disability? We don’t know, but they must have possessed deep feelings for him.
Who would you stick your neck out for in order to bring them before Jesus? Whose salvation means more than your dinner or your vacation or your hobby or that game you’ve been planning to watch? Who would you carry onto the roof?
- Who was the first person that came into your mind to bring before Jesus? Why?
- Do you feel as if you possess the sort of compassion that the four friends possessed? What keeps you from having that?
- Pray that God will soften your heart and fill it with compassion for those who don’t know Christ.