The Young Converts

    There are four men coming down the streets of Capernaum. I never knew them, but if I met them in the streets of Boston, I should feel like grasping them by the hand. Perhaps one of them was he who was converted not long before; perhaps the other was the leper who went to Jesus and got cured, and when he came home, his wife didn't know who it was, and couldn't believe it was her husband; and another had been cured perhaps of blindness, and here was the man with the palsy who had nearly shaken himself into his grave. The doctors of Jerusalem had all given him up as a hopeless case. "Why," they said, "he cannot even get his food to his mouth, he shakes so. We can't do anything with him." Well, these young converts came along—I suppose they were young; they have more faith than any one else—and they see this man with the palsy and instantly say that one word from Him will put it away. But they cannot get him there; they don't see how they can carry him, and finally one of them goes and gets a neighbor, and says, "Here's a man with the palsy; if we can get him up to where Christ is, He can just heal him at once." I think he would be astonished, and say, "What, save that man; impossible! He can't be cured." But the young convert persists, and tells him of those who had been made to see, and the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk, and so convinced the neighbor that at last he said, "Well, I will help you and go and see this wonderful physician," and away them go and hunt up another young convert, who had been lame for years. He is not strong enough to help them, however, and they find another man. He has been deaf and dumb for years. And these four young converts take this man with the palsy and put him, I suppose, on what we called during the war a stretcher, and away they go to Christ. They had faith in what they were about. I can imagine the young men saying, as they carry him along, "We will not have to carry him back again; the palsy will be gone; it will be cured then." On they go with their load, and when they got to the house, they find it crowded inside and a multitude standing outside. They say to the people, "Let us pass; we want to take the poor man to Christ." But they say, "Why, there is no hope for him; he is past all cure." "Ah," say the young converts, "that is nothing. Jesus of Nazareth can cure him; all things are possible to Him." But they wouldn't stand aside. They wouldn't allow them to get in. But these four men are not going to take this man back. They are determined not to fail. They hesitate a moment, then go to the next house; it is a neighbor's. There were no bells in those days, and so they knock. When the neighbor comes to the door they say, "We want to get into the next house; let us go through yours." "O, yes," says the man, and they ascend the staircase, and get on the roof, and get over to the next house. There's no entrance through there, and so they dig a hole, they tear up this roof. A great many people in this city would be opposed to this sort of thing. They would say, "If you want to get into the house, you want things to be done decently; don't rear up the roof in that way." But, my friends, if we want to go to work for Christ, we must tear off the top of the house, if it's necessary. We must use vigorous means. These young men had good faith, and that's what we want here. But when they had torn off the roof they had nothing to let the man down by. So they looked about and made a rope of their own clothing, and down they laid him right among the Pharisees and learned doctors, right at the feet of Jesus. And it is a good place to put a poor sinner. And we are not told whether that man with the palsy had any faith. But the Son of God looked up, and saw their faith, the faith of the four men, and it pleased Him. It was like a cup of refreshment that satisfied the longings of His soul; He saw the brightness of their faith when He looked upon them. And He said to the sick man, "Son, be of good cheer, they sins are forgiven thee."