And life went on. We didn‘t spend every day with Jesus, but we were spending more and more time with him. There were still nights I spent fishing with Andrew, but for the most part Eli carried the load there.
A few days after Marion’s healing Jesus showed up our home. Several of the guys were there having lunch and Jesus wanted to talk about taking a trip to Nazareth to see his family.
Well, it turned into a repeat of his last visit. Before long a crowd had gathered looking for the one, they had heard so much about.
There were those who were looking to be healed, others who just wanted to hear Jesus’ teaching and those who just showed up. Before long, our little house was packed full of people, it was crazy. It didn’t seem to bother Jesus, but I could tell Esther was a little on edge and Marion just got up and went to her bedroom.
Finally, I had to close the door and tell people that there was no room and that they would have to leave. And people weren’t happy. Everyone had a story and a reason they needed to see Jesus. But there just wasn’t room in the house for anybody else, there wasn’t room for the people who were there.
And as Jesus touched people and healed them Andrew would show them to the door, all the while trying to keep others from coming in.
Finally, there was enough room to breathe. The only ones left were there to hear what Jesus had to say. There were even religious leaders from the community. Which was a shock, I don’t know if they hadn’t even spoken to me in the past and now here they were, sitting in my kitchen. It surprised me the roof hadn’t fallen in.
And just as that thought went through my head, the ceiling collapsed. I looked up and through the hole I saw blue sky and four guys digging through my roof.
“What in the world are you doing?” I demanded, actually I may have been a little more colorful.
“We couldn’t get in through the door, and our friend really needs to see Jesus.”
“Are you out of your minds, you’ve destroyed my roof!” I was furious.
“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it, really we will.”
Oh, if I had a shekel for
every time someone said they’d take care of something, I’d be rich.
I looked over and Jesus had a big smile on his face; he seemed to enjoy the whole thing. Esther, on the other hand, looked mad enough to spit. I don’t think It was the hole in the roof as much as the mess they had made inside the house that upset her.
“Oh, you’ll take care of it all right,” Esther growled, “and you’ll clean my house before you leave.”
There wasn’t anything I could do to stop them, so I stared in disbelief as they lowered a man on a stretcher through the gaping hole.
“Please Jesus,” the one who had been speaking was almost begging, “Caleb hasn’t been able to move since the accident. A Roman chariot struck him, and the soldier didn’t even stop to see if he was all right.
The doctors say there’s nothing they can do, he’s going to die. And there will be nobody to look after his family.”
They had tied the man lowered through the roof to the stretcher to keep him from rolling off and only his head moved as he sought Jesus’ face.
“Please, isn’t there anything you can do? I don’t want to die, but I can’t live like this.”
Jesus walked over to the man and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”
What? Did Jesus misunderstand them? The man was paralyzed, he came to be healed, not forgiven.
The room went completely still, and Jesus turned and looked at the religious leaders.
“Oh, I know what you are thinking,” he said, “you’re not the least bit concerned about this man. You’re just upset because I offered to forgive his sins.
Regardless of what you might think, I have that authority. My Father gave me that authority, along with the power to heal. And if you don’t believe me, watch this.”
Then Jesus knelt down and untied the rope holding the man to the stretcher and said, “You can get up now.”
The man lifted his head, shrugged his shoulders, wiggled his fingers and sat up. And then he stood up.
“See,” Jesus said, “you just have to believe, your faith has healed you, and I forgave you sin. Give my love to Meredith and the boys when you get home.”
“How did you know?”
“Seriously?” Jesus asked, “I healed you and you want to know how I knew your wife’s name? Enjoy the rest of your life and make a difference in your world.”
His friends helped him gather his stretcher, and they headed for the door, where they were greeted by Esther, her arms crossed, and a no nonsense look on her face. “Forgetting something boys?”
Jesus supervised the repair of the roof, he said it was one of the many things he learned from, his dad, Joseph. And Esther supervised the cleaning of the room. Trust me, it was spotless by the time she let them go.
By that time, what Jesus had done was the talk of the town.