Would you be willing to carry your friend up onto a roof, to get her to Jesus? What if praying for your friend is the equivalent of bringing her—on a stretcher—to Jesus?
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Stories of Jesus
Welcome to Episode one of Live Like It’s True! In this first season, we’re focusing on the True Stories of Jesus. In this episode, I’m joined by Kelly Needham to discuss the True Story on The Roof! It’s the story of the paralytic, whose four friends carried him on a stretcher and dug up a roof to lower him down to Jesus.
My hope is that you’ll be amazed by this story of healing and forgiveness, then live like it’s true.
Guest: Kelly Needham
Bible Passage: Mark 2:1-12 CSB
Freebie: Live Like It’s True Workbook Free, 20-page downloadable resource!
Music: Cade Popkin Music
Kelly Needham is married to singer/songwriter and speaker Jimmy Needham. Kelly is the author of Friendish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion and she’s been featured on Revive Our Hearts, Desiring God, and The Gospel Coalition.
Whether writing or speaking, Kelly’s aim is to convince as many people as possible that nothing compares to knowing Jesus. She and Jimmy live in the Dallas area with their three children, Lively, Sophia, and Benjamin. You can find more of her writing and speaking at kellyneedham.com or follow her on social media.
Find Kelly on:
Know the Story
“The True Story on the Roof” is found in Mark 2:1-12 in your Bible. It’s an astonishing story of healing, forgiveness, and determination to get to Jesus.
Share the Story
Kelly and I talked about the beauty of forgiveness, and I don’t know about you, but forgiveness is a concept I need to be reminded of constantly, and one I need to remind others of quite a bit. Who do you know who needs to hear this story?
Our Bible packs some of the richest theology, and deepest truths about God into stories. The story is what holds the theology together, and helps us package it up in our minds. So I want to invite you to be like those people crowded in that room, who probably went home and told it to everyone they knew. And in moments when they felt guilty about their sin, and they worried that God was going to punish them because they had sinned, I imagine they thought about this man – who was considered by everyone to be sinful – and how Jesus started with forgiveness.
The True Story of Forgiveness
The fact is, we’re all sinful. We all need to be forgiven. And just like this man, it might be something else – some other problem or pain or struggle – that causes us to turn our attention to Jesus. Whether we’re approaching God for the first time, or we’ve been coming to him for many years, we often worry that our sin makes God unavailable to us. We’re too dirty. Our sin is too severe. We feel like we can only come to him when we’re cleaned up.
The next time you’re thinking that way, I encourage you to remember this story. This man was paralyzed. He couldn’t do anything to fix himself – either spiritually or physically, to make himself presentable to Jesus. And he didn’t have to. In just one short interaction, Jesus forgave his sins and healed his body.
The Overarching Story
Now, we have to keep in mind the full overarching story, here. It’s true that we are forgiven in a moment. And it’s also true that God can heal us in a moment, but there were probably other paralytics who didn’t get healed by Jesus. And the man who did get healed eventually got sick or hurt in some other way and eventually died. Jesus didn’t eradicate all sickness and death when he came, but one day he will.
People brought their physical needs to Jesus, when he came walking on the dusty roads of Galilee. That’s what drew them to him, but once they got there, Jesus was most interested in talking to them about their spiritual need, and invite them.
One day, our king Jesus will return and there will be a new earth, and those of us who are forgiven by his blood, will enter that kingdom and experience no more sickness, no more pain, and no more sin. We see glimpses of the kingdom to come in this story of the paralytic. I hope you’ll treasure it up in your heart.
I hope you’ll learn the story well enough so you can retell it to yourself, or to someone else who is struggling with either with some physical ailment, or over the sickness of sin.
Live the Story
Does your friend need breakthrough today, either for a physical or spiritual ailment? Do you? How can you live like this story is true?
We talked about several ways:
- If sin is the biggest problem of my life (which this story points to), and if that problem has been dealt with, shouldn’t I have hope that God can deal with my smaller problems, too?
- If Jesus is the answer, here’s what I must ask myself today: How can I use my creativity, determination and ingenuity to get my friend to Jesus?
- Praying for my friend is like bringing her on a stretcher to Jesus. This is a way of activating my faith and perhaps having the honor of participating in my friend’s spiritual or physical breakthrough! How will I prioritize praying for her today?
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One of the things I’m hoping, with my free Live Like It’s True Workbook, is to help you develop is an eye for seeing the stories of the Bible as more than just stories. As western thinkers, we’re far more accustomed to considering abstract ideas, and listening to propositions and arguments. But But the stories of the Bible communicate rich theological truths, and they do so in a way that is less abstract and so easier for us to remember and refer back to.
I think this is particularly true of the story we’re going to look at—which, ironically, is the story of Paul—who loved to use both propositional arguments and story to proclaim the one True Story of God. I think Paul would love the fact that we’re using his story to refute the world’s false narratives.
Inside, you’ll find:
- The 4-page True Story Worksheet
- The 1-page True Story Worksheet
- 2-sided bookmark with Study and Story Tools
- False Narrative Watchlist
- “Awakening to the False Narratives”
- Four Reasons Journaling Prompt
- Storytelling Content Podcast Directory