“And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:4-5
Any parent is familiar with the common pleading: “Mom. Mommy. Momma. Mooo-oom. Moommmmmmyyyy? Moooom!? Dad? Daddy? Daaa-aad? Daaaaaddaaaa?! Dad!? (etc.) Our kids consistently give us examples of what it looks like to be desperate for someone else to pay attention to us. As they tug at our clothes, smack our legs, throw whatever they want at us, etc.
The men in this verse were not all desperate for the attention of Jesus. They were desperate on behalf of their friend, who was a paralytic. We don’t get the full story, but we can only imagine the sort of impact tearing a hole in someone’s roof might lead to. It seems a bit extreme, to be sure…but it also speaks to the level of their desperation on behalf of their friend.
This is the sort of desperation I believe we are called to have on behalf of our children.
These men could’ve simply been good friends, by walking the roads that Jesus walked. But going with the crowd, and following whenever they traveled some place new. By being close enough to hear the words of Jesus as he spoke. Carrying their friend through the paths being walked by all of his followers. By getting in line with their friend, but at the end of the day saying “Well, we’re very sorry. We waited and waited, but there were just too many people being healed today.” Their friend would’ve looked up, after having his hopes dashed on the rocky shore of reality, as a few tears welled up in his eyes, responding “That’s okay. I’m blessed to have such great friends. Thanks for bringing me here today.”
But his friends were not content to simply give him an experience of being near Jesus. They wanted their friend to actually meet and experience transformation that could only come from Jesus! In the same way, we as parents should not be content to have our children come near Jesus. We can easily become a family “bus service”, taking our kids to and from church. Dropping them off, each going our separate ways, and as we head to lunch we check that off of our “What Christians do each week” checklist.
We want more than this for our children. We want our kids to actually meet and experience transformation that can only come from Jesus! Someday, I want my children to look back on growing up and not just say “My parents were good Christian parents. They took me to church twice a week!”
I want my kids to be able to say, “Yes, we went to church and that was a blessing. But my parents ripped holes through the roofs of what was expected in order to bring me right into the presence of Jesus himself, and my life is forever changed by those moments!!!”
Of course, that may make the roof-owners upset. I think we’d be okay with that…