Revd B Leslie Dareeju writes about providing help to those in need without complicating or compromising the help they require. Bold determination for a great dream will experience the fullness of life. A radical commitment and a great passion to eradicate dehumanizing structures and evil powers in our society today will ultimately help to achieve the result.

In this text, Jesus has come back to Capernaum where he was preaching and teaching and also performed some of his miracles in the Earthly ministry. This particular healing is mentioned in the synoptic Gospel where he was healing a paralytic person. The house was crowded as many people wanted to listen to him. Therefore, the paralytic person’s friends brought him through the rooftop and Jesus saw their determination and their faith. Jesus forgave his sin and made him healed.

We can see all these main four descriptions in this picture where the crowd, bringing down the paralytic person from the rooftop, healing him and then he walked down with the bed. Artist is also creatively expressing all these four steps in the same drawing which is wonderfully portrayed. He has highlighted Jesus with white colour paint which shows the purity of Jesus especially in Asian context and his calmness in his posture. The Picture brings to our mind that typical Sri Lankan Sinhala village where the community gathers and listens to wise people in rural set-up and their enthusiasm and thirst for knowing “Dharma”.

Here there are few important insights:

  1. The bold action of the friends which they have taken that they wanted to see their friends’ life in fullness.
  2. The crowd or the outside obstacles cannot prevent them by achieving the final goal.
  3. Their collaborative ministry may achieve what individual ministry fails to do.
  4. It shows that as Jesus came across engaging in Kingdom ministry often you may have to encounter evil powers and evil structures of the world.
  5. When we want to help people, we have to make it easier for them to receive without having conditions and strict rules rather than complicating it.

Today in Sri Lankan context in the post-war era, there are many people who need healing mentally, physically and spiritually. There are so many uncured wounds remaining in people’s lives. They are waiting silently among us as they look up waiting for someone to take them for healing. Who will carry them?

How do we use authority in a positive and constructive way to help others rather than using it for destruction and desolation of people’s lives? But today in our country where we see people who have authority use immense power to dehumanize the image of God rather than the healing or building of wounded lives.

Jesus only used few words and more action-oriented ministry and there was a great transformation took place in the other person’s life. Your small faith is enough to make an enormous step in another person’s life.

The friends had bold determination for a great dream to see that their friend will experience the fullness of life. It was a radical commitment and a great passion in their lives that ultimately achieved the result. Do we have the same passion to eradicate dehumanizing structures and evil powers in our society today?

What is the attitude we have when we want to help others? Do we make our help well received by the victim well or do we make the process complicated in helping them due to our traditions, conditions and customs? Therefore, to serve others, the crucified God needs to have the crucified mind of people.

At the same time, we need to learn from Jesus how to be firm on our principles and values. Am I a compromising Christian?

Revd. B. Leslie Dareeju is from Sri Lanka and a PhD candidate at VU University, Amsterdam

Photo Credit to Sweet Publishing/ FreeBibleimages.org