Luke 5:17-26 Raising the Roof With Praise

Desperate to get to Jesus

Desperate to get to Jesus

Luke is recalling another remarkable story in his writing today. He wants to tell Theophilus and us about one extraordinary day in Jesus’ ministry. We are going to do things a little different today and join the crowd in the aftermath of this particular healing. We will be listening in on David and Jacob as they discuss with Leman what happened.

“All glory to God; the Father of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob! He is too marvelous for words!”

“Yes Jacob, He is wonderful! All praise to Him for sending His Servant Jesus to do these mighty works among us! He is truly a Man of God!”

This is the conversation that can be overheard as David and Jacob leave the home where Jesus has been ministering all day. The meeting ended with an amazing praise and worship time. Shouts of praise to God could be heard flowing out every opening, including the new one up on the roof.

The pair draw a lot of curious stares as they walk together, still praising God. Leman, a local potter, is sitting at his wheel when David and Jacob come walking down his street. Leman calls, “Good day Jacob. You seem to be in high spirits.”

“I am Leman for I have just witnessed an amazing miracle directly from God.”

“Do tell Jacob! I would love to hear your story.”

“Leman, do you know Mathias, the young man who was injured when a wild boar spooked his sheep?”

“Yes. I know his family well. Such a tragedy, especially with him being the sole provider in their family. I have done whatever I could to help him and his young family. Why do you ask? Has something happened to him?”

“Indeed something HAS happened to him. He was the recipient of the miracle we were just discussing.”

“Please, tell me about it!”

“David and I went to listen to Jesus speak today. He was visiting our friend Shuman when a whole group of scribes and Pharisees came into town and asked Him for an audience. He agreed to speak with them this morning in Shuman’s home.”

“I had heard about something about Him going to be teaching today and even went to Shuman’s home a few hours ago. It was so crowded with people that I decided to come on back here and work on my pots.”

“Oh Leman, if you had only stayed. You would have born witness to the miracle too. I agree though, the room was SO crowded you couldn’t even squeeze in another person. That actually sets the stage for part of the story.”

“How so Jacob?”

“Well Leman, Jesus had been teaching to this packed full house for some time when the strangest thing started to happen. It started out with noises coming from the roof. Shuman has a nice patio on his roof so I thought maybe someone was up there trying to listen in on Jesus’ teaching. I was guessing they could have been trying to hear whatever drifted out through the windows. But that wasn’t what was going on.”

“It didn’t sound to me like they were settling down to listen though Jacob. It sounded more like they were moving things about. And couple of minutes later, we start seeing bits of debris falling down just in front of where Jesus was standing.”

“Yah David. I was surprised that some of it didn’t land directly on Jesus’ head! It’s a good thing He saw it and was able to step out of the way.”

“What was going on Jacob? Where was the debris coming from?”

“I’m getting to that Leman. Well it took about five minutes from the start of the noise before we all realized what was happening. It wasn’t long at all after we saw the debris falling that we saw a HOLE in the roof. Someone was up there breaking in through the roof!”

“WHAT! Who would do such a thing? What did Shuman do?”

“We all just stood there, Shuman included, with our mouths hanging open as a head popped into view through the hole. Then several hands reached in and grabbed the edges of the hole and started pulling to make it bigger. Shuman started shouting at whoever it was to stop but he was ignored. They just kept going until they had a hole about four foot square.”

“Why? What would possess someone to destroy another person’s home that way? What was Shuman doing all this time? I would have been up there knocking some heads together!”

“Well, Shuman couldn’t get out through the crowd so he stood there yelling up at them. When they finally got the hole big enough they lowered someone down through it.”


“It was Mathias.”

“WHAT? How did he get up there?”

“It just so happens that four of his friends; Timothy, Samuel, Pathos, and Gabriel took him up there.”

“But why? What possible reason could they have for bringing him up on the rooftop?”

“They wanted to get him in front of Jesus. They were desperate! Mathias has been slipping into a deep depression lately. He has even gotten to the point where Sarah, his wife, can’t hardly get him to eat. When his injury first happened the priest told him that his condition was a sign from God that he had committed a grievous sin. Mathias offered every kind of sacrifice he could think of to gain God’s forgiveness but his continued paralysis proved to him that he was not forgiven. He even talked with Sarah about divorcing him so she could be free to have a life with a husband who was whole. She cried non-stop for a week before he relented. She said she would die before leaving him.”

“I had noticed there seemed to be a deep sadness in that house and it grew every time I visited. How did you learn about this Jacob?”

“David cornered Timothy after the miracle happened.”

“Timothy even told me that Mathias was determined to die so that Sarah would be free of his burden of sin. Mathias couldn’t stretch out his hand to take his own life so he decided instead to refuse to eat and die through starvation.”

“But that sounds horribly cruel to Sarah!”

“He reckoned that it would also relieve her of the burden of having to make enough money through taking in mending and washing to feed them both. He could be so stubborn at times.”

“Maybe that was part of the sin God was punishing him for.”

“I don’t know Leman. Only God knows.”

“But what has all this got to do with a miracle Jacob?”

“Sorry, I did go a bit off track. So after Timothy, Samuel, Pathos, and Gabriel got the hole big enough they lowered Mathias down through it, right in front of Jesus!”

“Really? That was bold. What did Jesus do?”

“Jesus looked right at Mathias as he lay there on the floor and He said, ‘Your sins are forgiven you.’ EXACTLY what Mathias needed to hear.”

“How can He say that? How does He know?”

“Apparently that was the scribes’ reaction too. They didn’t say that but apparently Jesus knew they were thinking it. He asked them, ‘Which is easier, to say “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say “Rise and walk?” (verse 23).’ He said that He said it this way so that we all would know that He had the authority from God to forgive sins on earth. Next He turned back to Mathias and told him to pick up his bed and walk and to go home.”

“Did he do it? I mean could he do it?”

Both David and Jacob shout, “YES!”

“Sorry Jacob. Didn’t mean to step on your story there.”

“No problem David. I wouldn’t have been able to resist that question either. Yes Leman. Mathias picked up his bed immediately and started moving towards the door. He was made completely whole! He didn’t even have a limp or appear weak from lying in bed all those months.”

“You should have seen the crowd Leman. Half of them wanted him to stay so they could talk to him and the other half wanted to help him follow Jesus’ instructions to go home. Jacob and I were able to clear a path for him to get out the door. I followed him out and made my way up to the roof. I helped Timothy and the others put to rights the roof. You should have heard the people in the room! They were praising God for the miracle and thanking Him for sending us Jesus. They were so loud that if there wasn’t already a hole in the roof the shouts would have made one instead!”

“Wow! That’s some story! I’m going to have to check in on Mathias and see how he and Sarah are doing since his healing.”

“Why don’t you ask him now? Here they come, arm in arm, looking like the happiest couple I have ever seen!”

“Hello David, Jacob, Leman. How are you on this fine evening?”

“How are we!? How are YOU!?”

“We are free. We are forgiven. And we are whole”, Mathias says while gazing into Sarah’s eyes.

“Yes we are Mathias and have we got some stories to share with the neighbors. But first I want to go and thank Jesus personally for bringing you back to me. I’m going to ask Him if He will forgive me of my sins too.”

Thank You Father for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. I have earned none of it. In fact, if I had to earn it I would forever be in the negative column. Thank You Jesus that You spoke to Mathias’ deepest fear in our story. The fear that he had brought all this calamity onto himself and that he would never be forgiven for whatever it was he had done. When You told him his sins were forgiven, was it to assure his mind that he was indeed forgiven or did he still have sins that needed to be addressed? In our story it was both. His self-destructive actions were sin too. I have been at the same point he was at. Thank You for rescuing me from myself too. Thank You for helping me to understand that pain too. Help me to be able to reach out to others in that same kind of pain and share the hope that You gave to both me and Mathias. The truth that our sins are forgiven and that we can find new hope in You.

I don’t really know if this is how “Mathias’” story really went but it is how You put it into my imagination today. I trust You brought it out this way for a reason. For whomever this is supposed to be speaking to, KNOW that GOD LOVES YOU and has ALREADY paid the price for your freedom from sin and condemnation. Reach out and receive that free gift He is offering you RIGHT NOW.

I would love to hear from you if this story has touched you in some way; especially if it has given you new, or renewed, hope.

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