December 16, 2018

Be like Jesus.

That is the greatest charge for us Christians.

But it is so much easier to say than to carry out.

For one, among a litany of requirements, to be even someone like Jesus, it takes owning great faith.

For another, it takes being a great self-sacrificing friend.

In our studies of the word, it seems that we tend to overlook some men who made great strides to be like our Lord.

I’m referring here to those men in Matthew, Mark and Luke who went to great lengths to have Jesus heal a stricken comrade.

We all know well the scene in which they become known to us.

We don’t know with any certainty how many of them they are – the Bible never says.

But as the account goes, they become aware that Jesus is at a house preaching.

And the men clearly believe so strongly in Jesus and His miraculous power that they know he can heal the stricken man.

They bring him to the house in his bed.

The house is crowded, packed with no easy access to Jesus.

But the men don’t let that stop them.

They improvise.

They carry the man in the bed up a flight of stairs outside, leading to the top of the house. There, they tear out a chunk of the roof’s tiles, creating enough space through which to lower the stricken man down amidst the crowd.

Jesus is impressed.

The Holy Spirit confirms it: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5).

We don’t know how long these men knew that man with palsy.

We don’t know how long a distance they traveled, carrying him.

We don’t even know how long they’d known about Jesus.

But clearly they believed in being good friends and they believed in the healing goodness of our Savior.

I don’t know about anybody else, but I say those boys carrying that stricken man made two of the greatest strides toward being like Jesus.

They exhibited the kind of faith in the Son of God that made them stick all the way to a Godly goal.

And although they didn’t have to lay down their lives for the stricken man as Jesus had to for all of us, those men went to an extreme for a fellow being.

I get inspired by what those anonymous fellows did.

Their actions give me encouraging images of the world’s future.

Imagine, everybody being like Jesus – oh my.

I think even Satan would be impressed.

No bad words; no arguments; no wars.

The evil one would have to take a permanent holiday.

But then something like a world leader talking akin to a back woods bigot snaps me out of the dream.

But it never takes me out of the belief that Jesus is awesome.

And those men, who brought that stricken man to Him, in their own ways, too, were awesome.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Ps. 103:2).