let’s remove the roof



They stood behind the gate for a while. Inside was clearly full. The crowd who stood outside gave them the idea. What will they do? Only God knows how far they have travelled. In fact how long they have cared for this paralytic. How long he has been in pain. They better come up with an idea. They stood. They wondered. They thought.

“I have an idea,” one of the four finally screamed. “Let’s remove the roof and lower him down.” Totally ridiculous. Perhaps morally wrong. But they bought into it. They started. And while the people around wondered. Those inside the room were totally taken aback.

Imagine sitting in there. All of a sudden you hear noise. A havoc wrecking noise. Nails are going out. Debris is raining. You are not sure whether to get up and run or wait. Everyone is still seated. Suddenly you see a light. Brighter than usual and no, it is not the lamp. It is sunlight. The roof is off.

And incoming is a man. Paralytic. Laying on the bed. Lowered by a rope right in front of Jesus. Imagine the look on the face of Jesus. Wait before you look at Jesus. Look at the house owner. Not a pretty good scene I guess. If I were him Oh I will go crazy. I will calculate the cost. They better have the money. Else I will take them to the court house. Looks were the last thing on their mind. They cared less. Well I think the house owner wasn’t bored. Perchance he was even shocked.

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Everyone was amazed at such level of absurdity. Jesus was amazed at their faith. He forgave the sins of the paralytic man. An argument broke. What power does Jesus have to forgive him? Jesus knew it as the scribes thought about it. He questioned which was easier; to forgive the man’s sins or heal him? Jesus went ahead to heal the man. And the people were amazed (Mark 2:2-12).

The action of these four men is more than a spiritual lesson. It is a business one. It is an academic one. It is applicable anywhere. It is simple. There is always a way out. It may be ridiculous but if it gets you to the feet to Jesus. Nothing else matters.

Team work got the idea implemented faster. Before sermon ended the roof was off. One guy held the ladder. Two got on the ladder to remove the roof. The last guy worked on balancing the paralytic on the bed. Sooner than later, it was a go. Crazy ideas require more than one hand. Get someone. Borrow their hands. Get the problem to the solver by all means.

Wait! Let’s go back to possible arguments that stood in their way. One, it is not right. Someone’s home. He will be mad. It will be better to wait for Jesus to finish so we meet Him. Two, why not take him back home so next time we can strategize and meet Jesus around the corner. Three, beg the people to allow us in.

But they had no idea when Jesus will finish. They had no idea where Jesus will go next. And if Jesus was somewhere, you can trust that more sick people will be there. And if a lame man was ahead of you. A blind man before him. And deaf and dumb man before the blind man. You better stay in the line because the queue is tight! So they had to come up with another idea. A ridiculous one to take the roof off and it worked. By the way the house owner is waiting. Perhaps smiling?

Many years ago, four different guys took a similar decision. Except they weren’t carrying anyone. Each carried himself. They were lepers. And they were not looking for Jesus. They were looking for food. They were hungry. If they stayed where they were, hunger would kill them. If they went out, the famine would still kill them. They took a decision. It was unanimous. “Why sit here until we die, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”

They went and it paid off. They found no one there. God magnified the sound of their footsteps to be like the noise of horses and chariots. It was so alarming that the army of Syrians got scared and ran away leaving their food stuffs and possessions. It was early Christmas for them. (2 Kings 7:3-10)

There is something about going the extra mile. There is something about taking the unusual step. There something about risk. It might get you into trouble. Yet the dividends are overwhelming.

We have become too comfortable waiting for things to get to us. We are waiting for things to happen to us. Somehow God will step in and change the situation. So we sit all day. Pray all night. Read all books. And still nothing happens. Then we look for something to blame. We look for someone to blame. It is true one thing we never run of out is who or what to blame. These two groups of four men could have blamed but they didn’t. They got up and got out. Why not do same? This year is almost ending. Faith without works is dead.

Do all the mental calculations. Check it with your book of courtesy. Weigh the rightness. When you are done, look for the one way that defies logic. One way that doesn’t make sense. Look for the roof. When you find it, take it off and lower the situation. Later, settle the house owner if he isn’t amused. Be Inspired!


Martha, is Jesus here yet?



The physician had declared him clinically dead. He was sent home for the inevitable. Every joint and nerve mounted a rebellion as he tried to move. He called out to Martha. The sound was like an echo. Maybe so from emptiness within. He did shout but it came out as a whisper. Thankfully Martha wasn’t far. She came to him.

“Save your strength brother,” Martha whispered. “Is Jesus here yet?” were the heavy words that emerged from his lips that barely parted. The look on Martha’s face answered him before her lips could. She closed her eyes but the threat of tears behind her eyelids couldn’t be dealt with anymore. They flowed freely. She turned to Mary who stood afar at the fringe like a stranger.

Mary overheard the question. She knew the answer too. She rushed passed the emotional Martha, picked Lazarus’ hand into hers, held it to her face and said, “Not yet, but He will surely be here.” Lazarus now saw the inevitable no further than his nose. His last hope; his sisters’ best friend; Jesus whose reputation even precedes Him had delayed in coming. Though it was day, darkness had almost engulfed him.

Thoughts walked in Lazarus’ mind, “Doesn’t Jesus care? Does the friendship with his sisters not mean anything? Has He forgotten the person in question? Or did the messenger not spell out to Him how grave the sickness was?”

Jesus delayed. He rather stayed two days more where He was though the news had reached Him (John 11:6). Lazarus’ hope faded. His life was fading as a matter of fact. The next blink. The next sigh. The next inhale. Lazarus died!

Whatever happened next he didn’t know. As to whether Jesus was on the way coming or not, it did not matter to him. He was dead. And sheets were wrapped around him. He didn’t feel that too.
But something happened. He felt sheet taken off him. Each sheet went off with a layer of darkness giving way to light. Last sheet off and he is alive. “Welcome back” came the greetings. Some were accompanied by hugs and handshakes. Jesus finally came! Nothing else mattered now.

Now let’s come to you. Yeah you! I bet you have been there. Or maybe you are in a certain situation right now calling on God. Perhaps you are wondering what you ought to do in order for Him to answer. Deadline is over. You have lost the contract. You have lost a loved one. You’ve been jilted! Jesus didn’t come.

You are finished. You know it. It is finished there is no need for Jesus to come. Nothing can be done. Well I got two things to say. First it is His timing that matters and second, there is nothing impossible for Him to do! Even if He comes a year later He can restore all you have lost. Trust me, I know so. Pray, believe and wait. Jesus is coming. Happy weekend! Be inspired!

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2014