Friendships and Forgiveness as Healing Lifeline

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Gathering

In a crisis, where are you on a scale of 1 to 10? And why did you pick that number? 

  1 = “Go ahead—You do it, not me!” 

  4 = “I got this—or do I?”

  7 = “Make way—there’s gotta be a way!”

10 = “Never fear—I’ll take charge here!”

 

Backstory

This story represents a breakthrough on several fronts: a paralytic is lowered through a roof, is healed by Jesus, and is forgiven of his sin. To fully appreciate this story, consider: 

  • A paralytic suffered not only from a chronic debilitating disease or injury, but also from the perception, common in that day, that such illness was punishment for sin.
  • The sick could not fully recover until their sin was forgiven. 
  • Sins could not be forgiven except by God alone. 
  • To usurp this divine prerogative was considered blasphemy (meaning, “contempt for God”) and resulted in being stoned to death (Leviticus 24:16).
  • Ancient Palestinian homes were constructed with flat rooftops for sleeping in cooler night air, accessed by ladder, and thatched with cross beams three feet apart and filled in with earth and brushwood. Hence, much easier to breach than roofs today.

 

God’s Story

Have one person read Mark 2: 1-12 aloud. Watch the interaction between the various “players.”

 

Finding My Story in God’s Story

Who do you most identify with in this story?

  1. The paralytic—given my condition, I need help.
  2. The four friends—I could use friends like that.
  3. Jesus—I really care for people in need.
  4. The man of the house—blowing my top.
  5. Other _______

 

Imagine sitting in the crowd below when the roof opened up. What would you have first noticed?

  1. Dirt falling on my head
  2. A rowdy, smelly crowd, easily distracted
  3. Everyone looking up, forgetting Jesus
  4. The newly created skylight
  5. Other _______

 

Imagine carrying one corner of this paralytic’s cot. How would you have felt when you arrived at Jesus’ meeting and couldn’t get in?

 

If you were the “foreman” of this project to deliver your friend to Jesus, what first steps would you have taken when arriving at this packed house?

  1. Yelled for people to get out of the way.
  2. Tried to push in through the door.
  3. Immediately told my “crew” to get their shovels and head to the roof.
  4. I would have stopped to create a plan.
  5. Other _______

 

What emotions, do you think, were going through the paralytic man’s mind as this scene unfolded?

  1. “This is so embarrassing. Just take me home.”
  2. “Wow, these guys and Jesus really care about me.”
  3. “Hope they don’t drop me on the crowd.”
  4. Other _______

 

If you could pick any qualities in a friend, what TWO would you choose, first?

 

If you could get 15 minutes alone with Jesus, how would you like him to help you today?

 

Our Story

How can this group stand with you during this coming week?

  1. Call or text me.
  2. Drop by my house.
  3. Lift me up in prayer.
  4. Other _______ 

 

Who do you know that could use your help, without making them feel embarrassed? How will you commit to help them this week?

 

Pray silently for the person on your right about what you heard them share in questions #8 or #9.

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