HomeVisionStatement Of FaithArticlesPhoto GalleryEditor's NoteLinksContact

God Opens A Window

When God closes a door, He opens a window. A window where we can look upwards unto Him and Him alone; and not front, back, left or right to others. God is still our very present help in times of troubles (Psalm 46:1). When the natural ends, the supernatural begins.

In Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26, we have a story about this wonderful truth. One day, Jesus was in Capernaum. The news spread that He was ministering in a particular house. Many people came and thronged the place. They were all trying to get in to hear His teachings. His words were life and truth! Before long, all the doors and entrances to the house were jammed. It was full house!

Some religious leaders and teachers came also. But they were sitting nearby. These men had shown up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem. They had heard that God’s healing power was greatly upon Jesus. But their intentions and motives were otherwise. As Jesus was preaching, these men remained in their seats.

Then came four men carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to push through the crowd to get near Jesus. But they couldn't reach Him. All the passages were congested and blocked. But they were determined. The sick man was their friend and brother. They had seen him healthy before. They had worked with him; they had played with him and they had studied the Word of God together with him. They had gone to the Temple of God to worship the Lord, offering praise and thanksgiving. But now, he was paralyzed. This might be the day that he could be well again. This was their opportunity. They must press on. They must reach and touch Jesus.

The religious leaders and teachers saw the sick man. They did not render a helping hand to assist him or pave the way for him. Instead, they folded their arms in unbelief and anger. They were also suspicious of Jesus whether He had used trickery or witchcraft to perform signs and wonders.

Then one of the four friends looked up. He saw that there was a roof rightly above the place where Jesus was. That gave him an idea. The roof of a typical house in Israel was usually flat. It was made by laying logs or beams across the top of the walls. After which, branches and thatch were laid on top of the beams. These were then covered by a layer of clay. To keep it waterproof, the clay was renewed by treatment with special rollers periodically. During the days of Jesus, some houses in Israel were built using Roman designs with sloping roofs covered with baked clay tiles. But such houses were rare.

Since it was flat, the roof became a vital part of the house. An outside staircase provided easy access to it, and a low wall was built around the roof to keep members of the family from falling off. In a crowded city, the roof provided a necessary open space. It was a place to dry fruits and grains, wash clothes, and catch the cool evening breezes on hot nights. Sometimes an extra room was added on the roof to serve as a spare bedroom or as a storage room (2 Kings 4:8-11).

So the four men lifted their dear friend up the stairs to the roof directly above Jesus. After they had placed the man down on the flat surface, they started to make a hole. The people below began screaming as the debris and pieces of clay descended upon them. The whole room was filled with dust and falling particles. Jesus was unperturbed. He was amazed at the love and faith of these four men.

When the hole was made big enough, the four men began to fasten ropes at the four corners of the mat. Here they had to exercise unity and discretion in lowering the paralyzed man down to Jesus. They had to work together. No man could be faster and no man could be slower. Everyone must be just in time. Any wrong move would endanger the life of their beloved brother. They had to synchronize their actions, inch by inch and step by step, so that their patient would not be toppled downwards. This was a tedious and meticulous task. Everyone was looking at them as they lovingly and painstakingly let the man down right in front of Jesus.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, "My friend, your sins are forgiven!" When the religious leaders and teachers heard this, they were not pleased. They exclaimed among themselves, "Who does this fellow think He is? This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins?"

But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He replied, "Why is it blasphemy? I, the Messiah, have the authority to forgive sins. But talk is cheap. Anybody can say that. I will prove to you by healing this man." Then, turning to the paralyzed man, He commanded, "Pick up your stretcher and go on home, for you are healed!"

And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped to his feet. He picked up his mat, praising God all the way home! Everyone present was gripped with awe and fear. And they praised God, saying over and over again, "We have never seen anything like this before!" As for the four friends, they were exhilarated. Their eyes were beaming with tears of joy and wonderment! They remembered to make good the damages they had done to the roof by repairing it the next day. As for the religious leaders and teachers, they had gained nothing. In fact, they planned to bring down Jesus by an evil plot against Him.

Every drama of life has a leading character and some supporting ones. One without the others will be incomplete. All are important in order to tell the whole story. Whether major or minor roles, each has an important part to play. One day, we may be playing a leading role; and another day, we may be playing a supporting one. Whatever it takes, let us play our roles well so that we can live, and others can live too. One day, we may be on the mat and we need the help of faithful friends; and another day, our friend may be on the mat, and we need to be one of his faithful friends.

Life is an everlasting song. From the beginning to the end, its music is being composed as we live it out. Every note and every lyric is penned as we journey with Christ. One day, we will be breaking the roof and opening the window to heaven for others; and another day, we need others to break the roof and open the window for us. Do unto others what we want others to do unto us. This is the summary of all the laws of God in a nutshell (Matthew 7:12).

Under the canopy of heaven, against the backdrop of zillions of stars, God reveals Himself. He is still our God of miracles, signs and wonders!

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Written on:
13 July 2004