Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12: Luke 5:18-26
One day while Jesus taught inside a friend’s house, many people came to listen. They crowded around the tiny house and tried to hear at least a few words of what Jesus was saying. Four men carrying a stretcher pushed their way through the people.
“Let us through to Jesus!” They called out.
When they saw they would never make it through the door two of the men climbed onto the roof of the house. The other two threw them ropes so they could haul the stretcher onto the roof. On the stretcher lay a very sick man, who could not move at all. His four friends had brought him to see Jesus because they knew Jesus could make him better.
The four men began pulling tiles off the roof in order to make a hole. Inside the house, the people listening to Jesus heard the ripping sound above them and looked up. Suddenly, dirt and tiles fell on them. The next thing they knew, a stretcher was being lowered through the hole with a sick man strapped onto it.
Jesus saw how hard the man’s friends had worked and so He told the sick man all the bad things he might have done no longer mattered. He could start over then Jesus said. “Now get up and walk home.”
The man did as he was told, just as if he had never been sick.
“Glory to God, this really is His Son!” He and his four friends shouted and sang all the way home.
One day Jesus visited a special gate in Jerusalem called Bethesda. Near that gate was a pool with large steps where many sick people lay waiting for the water in the pool to move. They believed that sometimes an angel of God came and stirred the water and that whoever was the first one into the water after the angel came would get better.
When Jesus passed by the pool He saw sick people moaning and groaning, some even lay shriveled up and dying. One man had been waiting thirty-eight years for the water to move.
Jesus asked this man. “Do you want to get better?”
The sick man answered. “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up.”
However, that was not what Jesus had asked him. Jesus wanted to know if the man wanted to get better. Jesus said. “Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”
The man felt his body grow warm all at once. He was better, so he took up his bed and began to walk!