Breaking And Entering

by The Doctor

Did you know that one of the earliest recorded cases of “breaking and entering” can be found within the Bible? You can read about this break-in in Mark chapter two where a man just happened to “drop in” on Jesus during one of His teachings…

“…(Jesus) returned to Capernaum, and the news of His arrival spread quickly through the city. Soon the house where He was staying was so packed that with visitors that there wasn’t room for a single person more, not even outside the door. And He preached the Word to them.
Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head and lowered the sick man on his stretcher, right down in front of Jesus” (Mark 2:1-4 TLB).Now in Jesus’ day most people lived in houses with flat roofs. These roofs were very sturdy and people would often hang out at night on their rooftops to enjoy a cool breeze after a long, hot day. But here we find a group of men who were so intent on seeing Jesus and getting help for their friend that they cut through the roof and dropped their friend right down in front of Him.

Now you might ordinarily expect these men to be told, “Look what you’ve done- you’ve wrecked the house” or, “Sorry, you’ll have to go back to the end of the line and wait your turn.” But Jesus said neither of these things. Here’s what He did say…

“When Jesus saw how strongly they believed he would help, Jesus said to the sick man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven!’ But some of the Jewish religious leaders said to themselves as they sat there, ‘What? This is blasphemy! Does He think He is God? For only God can forgive sins.’
Jesus could read their minds and said to them at once, ‘Why does this bother you? I, the Messiah, have the authority on earth to forgive sins. But talk is cheap- anybody could say that. So I’ll prove it to you by healing this man.’ Then, turning to the paralyzed man, He commanded, ‘Pick up your stretcher and go on home, for you are healed.’

The man jumped up, took the stretcher, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers! Then how they praised God. ‘We’ve never seen anything like this before!’ they all exclaimed” (Mark 2:5-12 TLB).
Notice how Jesus took notice of their faith and how strongly these men believed that He would help. This is critical because faith is something that’s really important in our relationship with God. One dictionary tells us that faith is “a belief or confident attitude towards God involving commitment to His will for one’s life.” (1) Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Faith is the “pipeline” through which we receive salvation through Jesus for we’re also told in Ephesians 2:8 that, “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” Faith is the confident belief that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He’ll do. The Scriptures also tell us that without faith, “…it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The Doctor once heard author Josh McDowell give an illustration that helps make this point a little clearer. Let’s say that you live in the USA and you decide that you want to go to Daytona Beach for spring break. Would you just get in the car, start driving and hope that you’ll get to Daytona Beach? Of course not. You would use a GPS to show you the correct route to get where you want to go.

Now when you think about it, a GPS really shows you nothing more than an image on a screen, right? In order for that GPS to help you, you must do two things first…

  1. You have to believe that the road map or GPS will get you to your destination
  2. You have to follow it what it says

In other words, you have to put faith in that navigation unit to get you where you’re going. You have to place your trust in that GPS with the understanding that if you follow it without changing course, you’ll get to where you want to go.

Do you get the illustration? Faith in Jesus is like faith in that navigation aid, You must believe that Jesus knows the way and you have to trust that Jesus is leading you in the right direction even when the road is unfamiliar. The paralyzed man (as well as his friends) in the Scripture above had that kind of faith and they were richly rewarded for it.

If you have faith in Jesus and follow Him without deviating, you can be sure that you’ll arrive safely at your destination. Remember- Jesus is your roadmap leading to salvation.

(1) Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary © 1986 Thomas Nelson Publishers