Friends explain why they would stop at nothing to help him meet alleged Messiah.
April, 26 A.D.
A group of men borrowed a ladder from a neighbor and propped it against the side of the house where Jesus was teaching. They hoisted their paralyzed friend onto the roof and began removing tiles piece by piece. An eyewitness who was in the home with Jesus at the time described hearing “sawing and grinding” noises coming from the ceiling.
These men had carried their paraplegic friend 6 miles from nearby Bethsaida after hearing rumors that Jesus possessed “supernatural” powers and had the ability to heal people from various ailments and illnesses. By the time they arrived, however, the mob of people—which reportedly included travelers from towns across Galilee and as far away as Jerusalem—had grown to such colossal proportions that they couldn’t get to the door of the house where Jesus was teaching to be able to catch his attention.
But the friends would not be deterred.
“We’d come this far—we weren’t going to let a little crowd keep us away!” said one of the men.
“We all looked up to see what the sound was and all of a sudden this giant hole appeared in the roof, and we could see blue sky. A guy poked his face into the hole and shouted, ‘Heads up, we’re sending someone down to you!’ Next thing I knew a man was being lowered down on a rug and he landed right in front of Jesus.”
The Nazarene teacher, who’s been the subject of recent criticism by Pharisees and other religious leaders for claiming to be able to perform miracles, didn’t miss a beat. Several witnesses reported that upon seeing the paraplegic man, Jesus immediately said to him, “Your sins are forgiven.” He pronounced that the “Son of Man” had the authority to forgive sins, then told the paraplegic, “Take your mat and go home.”
“I think we were all holding our breath at that point,” recounted another witness who said she’s still shaken up by what she saw. “The guy on the mat looked down at his legs, and we all saw him wiggle his toes, and then he slowly got to his feet, took a few steps, and jumped up and down. At that point, a bunch of us freaked out. It didn’t seem real. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it happen!”
The (formerly) paraplegic man could not be reached for comment, but one of the friends who brought him to Jesus said that the man’s life has been changed forever.
“He knows he got to be part of something extraordinary. He’s running all over town telling family and friends that he was healed by God. I can’t not believe in miracles now—he’s living proof of them.”
Charges will not be filed against the four men who damaged the homeowner’s roof.