Jesus Forgives and Heals
By Dell Smith Klein
Have you ever been sick? (Allow time for the children to respond.)
Parents try to help us feel better. They give us medicine and water, and sometimes they sit with us and read to us.
Sometimes grown-ups get sick, too. Our story from the Holy Bible is about a man who was very sick.
We don’t know the man’s name, but he couldn’t walk. He had friends, though, and one day they carried the sick man to a house where Jesus was teaching. When they arrived, they found it so crowded that no one else could get inside. There were many people waiting outside hoping to see Jesus.
The man’s friends didn’t give up because they wanted Jesus to heal the sick man. They found a stairway leading up to the roof of the house and carried the man up to the roof.
Houses in those days were built with bricks of clay or dried mud. Roofs were flat and made of woven sticks with more clay or mud on top to make it solid and hard. People slept on their roofs, and sometimes stored things there. A person could easily walk on the roof. So that day, they carried their sick friend up the stairs and they set him down. Were they giving up? (Allow the children to respond.)
Now, imagine you are with Jesus inside the house. Jesus is teaching and people are sitting on the floor, or in chairs. People outside are leaning in windows to get a glimpse of Jesus. All of a sudden, dust and pieces of dried mud began to fall from overhead. Jesus stops talking and looks up as a hole appears in the roof. You can see the sky and clouds. Some men are standing on the roof. They pick up a man and ease him through the hole in the roof.
You look at Jesus. What will he say? What will he do?
Jesus said, “… your sins are forgiven you” (v. 5). Jesus went on to say, “I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house” (v. 11). The man who couldn’t walk, was able to get up, roll up his mat and walk home. His friends must have been so happy. Jesus had made the man well.
Aren’t you glad that the sick man’s friends didn’t give up? They didn’t give up when they saw the house was too crowded for them to get inside. They didn’t give up when they realized that they would have to climb to the top of the house and cut a hole in the roof.
Jesus was not upset that they interrupted his talk. He knew the man needed to be made well. He did something extra, too. Not only did he heal the man, but he also forgave the man’s sins.
Jesus loved everyone; people who were well and people who were sick. He even loved people who sinned. Jesus loves you, too.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the sick man’s friends. Thank you that Jesus healed the man and that he forgave the man’s sins. Thank you for forgiving us, too. Help us be willing to forgive others. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan