Luke 5:18-25 NIV
18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
This story is one of those classic Sunday School stories, popular because of the drama involved – the determination of the friends, the breaking open of the roof, and the conflict within, not to mention the wonder of the miracles, both the healing and the forgiving. But the heart of this story is not physical drama, rather an astonishing yet everyday word. Friend. Jesus sees the troubled man and calls him friend. Jesus, God’s Son, reaches out in relationship and love to us, because of who we are and despite who we are. The more I reflect n the Gospels, the more I realise that it is this desire for relationship that drives Jesus, rather than the desire to do the right thing, or follow rules or traditions. It also makes his mission a risky one, as relationships are vulnerable things, we hold out a hand, but can’t control the response of the other to it.
Spirit, help me be driven by the risky desire to have good relationships with both my Father and those around me.