On my way to church one Sunday, I had the radio tuned to a Christian station. I usually don’t get to listen to the scheduled program but on this morning, I was arriving at church about an hour and a half later than usual (don’t ask me why..).
The radio was already on when I turned on my car so I wasn’t fully paying attention to the sermon till the pastor on the other end of the radio started describing the scene of a well-known Bible story.
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying” – Mark 2:1-4 (NKJV).
I have heard and read this Bible passage so many times but on this day, I was especially drawn in by a question posed by this speaker. He said, “what is standing in the way of you bringing people to Jesus?”
These four friends had a crowd gathered around Jesus and figured out a way around this obstacle.
For some of us, we are the ones standing in the way of others encountering Jesus. We make up rules and cultural norms, similar to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, that keep people away. Ideally, everyone should be persistent enough or have friends who will overcome the obstacles to get to Jesus but as I was reminded, let’s not stand in their way.