We often talk about ‘raising the roof’ with celebrations (think of all the Manchester City fans last night as their team claimed the treble by winning the UEFA Champions League as well as the Premier League and FA Cup this year), but this morning we looked at how friends literally raised a roof to get their friend to Jesus. (Mark 2:1-11, Luke 5:17-26) and how the miracle that happened resulted not only in physical healing but the forgiveness of sins as well. Sometimes miracles are clearly visible, but sometimes they are not so obvious.

This story shows us that tenacity and friendship are crucial in life and that faith is needed for miracles to happen. We see a ‘seamless unity of believing and doing’ (see James 2:14-26) in the actions of the friends who made an opening in the roof to get their crippled friend to Jesus when there was no way into the house because of the crowds. They were not daunted by obstacles, but did all they could to bring their friend to Jesus, a reminder to us that this too can be our aim in life.

Before we see the miracle of healing, however, Jesus gets to the more fundamental problem all of us share: the need for the forgiveness of sins. Sin acts as a barrier between us and God. It separates us from a God who is too pure and holy to look on sin. (Hab 1:13) This is a universal problem for humanity, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) No matter how good we strive to be, we cannot be sinless; we cannot be perfect. That is not something we can afford to ignore, gloss over or pretend is not true, for the wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23) If the problem of sin is not dealt with, then we face eternal separation from God; we face judgment and hell. Jesus shows us here His authority in all areas and proves that authority by not only forgiving sins (which cannot be seen) but by healing the man.

Eternal life, forgiveness, cleansing, restoration and healing are all available through God’s grace and mercy. These gifts can be received by us today if we have faith: ‘No work too hard for Him; in faith receive from Him.’ (‘Be Still’, David J. Evans) The sky really is the limit if the roof is raised!