A man who could not walk wanted to be healed by Jesus. When the man’s friends carried him to the house where Jesus was staying, they found the house to be packed with people wanting to hear Jesus and be healed by him. The friends climbed up an outside staircase and dug a hole through the roof. They lowered their friend down to the place where Jesus was. Jesus was impressed by the faith of these men. First, Jesus did what only God can do – he forgave the man’s sins. Then, Jesus healed the man so that he could get up and walk.
Scripture References: Mark 2:1-12
Suggested Emphasis: Good friends help us follow God.
Group Share Time
Share life experiences about people who have been good friends to you. Talk about what makes you consider them a good friend. In the lesson today we will learn about a man who had good friends who cared about him.
Story from the Bible
An adult or young reader can read the words below as the slides are shown.
1. Cover: Man Lowered Through the Roof, Mark 2:1-12
2. When Jesus came to a house in the city of Capernaum many people wanted to come and listen to him. So many people came to the house to hear him preach that the house was so packed with people that there was not even room to stand inside. Some people even had to stand outside and listen through the doors and windows.
3. One man that wanted to come and hear Jesus was very disappointed. This man was paralyzed and could not walk. Four of his friends had to carry him on a mat. The man and his friends could not get inside the house where Jesus was preaching.
4. But the four men did not give up. They were determined to get their friend inside that house to listen to Jesus. What could they do?
Houses in those days had flat roofs that were made of clay and straw. They usually had stairs on the outside so people could climb on the roof to get some fresh air. The men had an idea. Maybe they could somehow get inside the house through the roof.
So the mean climbed on to the top of the roof carrying the paralyzed man. Then they started pulling off the clay and straw to make an opening.
5. The men kept pulling off clay and straw and soon the hole became as big as a man. Now it was time for their plan!
The people inside must have been very curious to see a hole appear in the ceiling. They could probably see blue sky from inside the dark house. Soon something started appearing through the hole – it was a mat with a man on it! The man’s friends had lowered him down through the hole so that he ended up right in front of Jesus!
6. Jesus was impressed by all the trouble these men had gone to to get him inside the house. He knew they must really want to hear the words he was saying. When Jesus saw their great faith he said to the paralyzed man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
7. The man must have been happy to hear Jesus say that his sins were forgiven. But even though this man was happy there were some people who were not happy at all. The teachers of the law were always watching Jesus and checking to see if he made mistakes.
They did not speak out loud but they thought to themselves, “Why does this man say things like that? He is saying things that are against God. Only God can forgive sins.”
8. These teachers of the law only thought these things. People cannot hear thoughts that we have. People can only hear words that we say out loud with our voice. Only God can know what we are thinking before we speak the words.
But Jesus is different from other people. What a shock to these men when he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to tell this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to tell him, ‘Stand up. Take your mat and walk’? Watch me now. I will prove to you that I have the authority on earth to forgive sins.”
9. So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up. Take your mat and go home.”
10. Immediately the paralyzed man stood up. He took his mat and walked out while everyone was watching him.
11. The man was happy. First his sins had been forgiven and now, he could walk!. All of the people were amazed and praised God. They had seen a miracle take place. Jesus must have the power of God! Everyone was saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
12. And what about the man’s friends? If they had not had faith they would have given up. They might have left without finding a way to bring their friend to Jesus.
And how about you? Will you be the kind of person that will bring your friends to hear about Jesus?
Verse(s) to Think About
“Some friends may ruin you. But a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
“Two people are better than one. They get more done by working together. If one person falls, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone when he falls. No one is there to help him. If two lie down together, they will be warm. But a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves. A rope that has three parts wrapped together is hard to break.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“Do not be fooled: ‘Bad friends will ruin good habits.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33
“Whoever spends time with wise people will become wise. But whoever makes friends with fools will suffer.” Proverbs 13:20
Choose Activities and Learn Together
Select activities that suit your family or group. Consider ages and abilities and how to involve everyone present in at least one of the activities.
- AT HOME Go outside and examine your roof or the roofs of buildings in your area. Talk about how easy or difficult it would be to make a hole and climb through the roof. If it was your friend or loved one who needed help devise a plan by which you would get them through the roof.
- EXPLORE: Research and learn about 1st century homes in Palestine.
- IN THE WORD: Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 together. Using the inductive Bible study method study this verse (copy, restate,respond).
- GAME/ACTIVITY: Bring a small toy or object to class. Everyone should sit in a circle so that the object can be passed from person to person. As the item is passed you (or an assigned person) can close your eyes, wait a few seconds, and then clap ring a bell or otherwise signal that the passing should stop. The person left holding the item at the signal must tell the class one way to help a friend follow God. Alternatively, play music and stop the music as a signal to stop passing the item. Play a few rounds of this as interest allows.
- CREATIVE: Divide into pairs. Provide paper and drawing materials so that each person draws a picture of the other.
- LIFE APPLICATION: Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 again. Since this is a mixed-age group discuss what it means to have a Christian friend who is not your age. How is it the same or different than having a Christian friend that is your own age? How does these verses apply? Allow people in the group to define how others might be a help to them in their Christian life. If possible, ask the group to commit these things to one another.
- LITTLE ONES: Download and print this colouring page for little ones. Click here for new ways to use colouring pictures.
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Serve any food but have people serve or prepare items for each other.
Singing does not have to be a performance. Don’t take yourself too seriously. In the privacy of your own home or within a small group allow yourself to just be genuine and enjoy the experience together.
Singing songs yourself is more reliable than viewing them online. If you are viewing published videos online on forums such as YouTube be sure and preview them first to make sure there are not unhelpful advertisements. To avoid long pauses due to internet speed issues play the song through once before you begin and then hold it paused and ready to go at the beginning of the song.
- Ha-la-la-la Song
- Love is Something If You Give It Away Song
- What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Youtube singalong video. Group singing as words scroll along the bottom of the screen. By Acapeldridge)
- Friends (Friends are Friends Forever) Youtube video. Slides with words by SE Samonte
- More songs to choose from
Additional Mission Bible Class Resources
- Instructions for Family Bible Time and Intergenerational Groups here.
- More teacher information and additional ideas for today’s lesson here.
- How to Plan a Bible Class for Children
- How to Teach Children at Various Ages
- Ideas for Teachers
- Songs for Bible Class
- Praying With Children
- Movement and Dance
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.