In Luke 5 v. 17-19 we read about Jesus being in a house, teaching with ‘proud, religious keepers of the law’ sitting by Him, making it impossible to get near Him. There was a man who was not able to move his body and so was carried on a bed; his friends were so determined to get him to Jesus that they ‘made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus’.
There are a whole variety of things that strike me about this passage and what we can learn from it: firstly, what an absolutely extraordinary sight it must have presented to Jesus audience, rather like a low budget play when something jerkily and slightly comically descends into the crowd. It must have caused utter astonishment!
But what a delightful lesson for the determination of our loved ones to bring us close to Christ – just as is so often the case when we pray for someone else, that person is, at that moment unable to present themselves, so it becomes our duty, our joy, our responsibility to carry them in our prayers.
The passage also points out all those things that can present us with blockages as we try to get to Christ: buildings and physical obstructions, excessive religiosity, large crowds of people who don’t recognise the needs of those around them, our own fear of ‘making a scene’.
Each time we pray, we have a direct route to our loving Father, the author of miracles, just like those men taking their friend to Christ, we can present our loved ones, as though on a stretcher, straight to the heart fo the matter.