Four Men and a Stretcher” Luke 5:17-26

How far does friendship move us? This we know as Luke reports it.

Friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus to heal. Perhaps it began by one of the men saying, “There is a Rabbi in Capernaum who has ‘the power of the Spirit to heal.’ Let’s take our friend to this Rabbi.” And they did, caring him on a stretcher. What was the attachment, the relationship between the paralyzed man and those who were his bearers? Did they owe him something? Had they caused or witnesses the accident that caused the paralysis? Perhaps one or all were related to the paralyzed man. Whatever their motive they were there with stretcher in hand. But Jesus was tightly surrounded in a house with those who had arrived to hear and question Him. Determinedly the men surveyed the situation. There must be a way, but how?


Question: How did the men carrying the paralytic open up the roof of the home where Jesus was sitting and teaching?


Answer: The four men probably used an outside stairway to carry their friend up to the roof. Roofs were often flat. People could sleep on the roof when it was hot. Luke specifically describes that the roof had tiles that would have to be moved. Most roofs were constructed at that time by laying sticks close together over the beams and covering them with hard-packed clay. To make a hole on this type of roof, the men would have to remove tiles and probably dig through the clay and remove some of the sticks.