Raze the Roof
Written by Pastor Rob Alfalah   

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(All Bible Quotations from the NASB unless otherwise noted)

 

“Raise the Roof” is a slogan used at a game to get the crowd watching it to increase their noise and excitement level.  It is communicated by a player to the crowd by raising both arms over his head and repeating a “pushing-up” or “raising” motion over his head. The crowd normally responds by increasing their noise level.  This noise level is supposed to be loud enough to “raise the roof” off of the building itself. There is a roof raising (and razing) story in the Bible that results in some excitement for what God has done.

 


In Luke 5:17-26, we see a story of Jesus teaching people in someone’s home. Unbeknownst to the crowd, there is a paralyzed man being carried on a bed by four men (see Mark 2:3). They are trying to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, but find no way into the house because of the crowd.  When you think about it, what is the first way they most likely tried to use to enter the home?  Through the door, right?  After that didn’t work, they probably tried the window.  That is exactly the way I’ve done it in the past when I locked myself out of my house.  But both of these ways were blocked off.

So after trying the conventional methods of bringing their friend to Jesus and not succeeding, they decided to try a different method by going through the roof.  They were so focused on bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus, that they were willing to “raze the roof” to do so.  What was the result?

 

 Jesus saw the faith of these four men and upon “seeing their faith” He said to the Paralytic, “…your sins are forgiven you.”  Two items to consider at this point: First, the Bible says Jesus saw their faith.  Now this is significant.  It is the faith of the four friends and not the faith of the Paralytic that allows Jesus to work in His life.  A key lesson for us is that sometimes it is our faith and not that of the person in need that will permit Jesus to heal and save. As a matter of fact, Wesley Duewel in Mighty Prevailing Prayer p. 15 says, “We must prevail [in prayer] for lives so ensnared and blinded by sin that they are unable or unwilling to pray for themselves.”


The second item involves Jesus’ response to their faith. Instead of healing the Paralytic physically as they had most likely hoped, Jesus addressed His spiritual need.  You see, Jesus saw the Paralytic’s true need which leads us to this lesson: If we have faith in Jesus to answer, then we need to have faith to allow Jesus to answer how He sees fit and NOT how we see fit. Sometimes unconfessed and unforgiven sin is a bigger paralyzer than any damage to our nervous system could cause.  It can keep us from “walking” forward to our next destination or stage in life and in our relationship with God and others. Do you have any unconfessed sin that has paralyzed you?  If so, confess it to Jesus (1 John 1:9) and believe that He has forgiven you as He has promised.


Present at this home were some Jewish religious leaders (Luke 5:18) and they considered Jesus a blasphemer for claiming to forgive another man’s sins (V. 21).  When He discovered “reasoning of their hearts” He asked them, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?"  Jesus goes on to heal the man of his paralysis to show He has the authority on Earth to forgive sins (V. 24).  The Bible says the man went home glorifying God; he went away excited and praising God (i.e., “raising the roof”) for this miracle.


The four men believed so much so that Jesus was the Paralytic’s only hope that they didn’t let anything stop them.  As a matter of fact, they “razed the roof” to lead their friend to Jesus and it resulted in a “roof raising” incident for most everyone there (Vv. 25-26).  A key to this story is that sometimes the conventional, traditional way(s) to bring “sick” and “paralyzed” people to Jesus is all blocked off.  In our own ministries, we need to “raze the roof” and try methods “outside the box” in order to bring some people to Jesus.  What is that for you today?  Do you have enough faith to move forward with it even though you may find some opposition?  Pray and allow the Lord to lead you!

 

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