Sometime I’ll talk about Capernaum I think. (We talked a little about it in July). It was a town of about 1500 people on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. A “sea” that was about 64 square miles, an area smaller than Fort Wayne, the city where I live. Capernaum was a hundred or so miles from Jerusalem.
Lots of stories about Jesus happen in Capernaum, his adopted hometown. For example, one about four guys. Four guys who knew Jesus, who knew what he could do, who couldn’t get to him because, suddenly, he’s popular. On any given day when he was in town before this, they could have gotten to him but now, they can’t. Of course back then, they didn’t know he was special.
The crowds were because Jesus had done some miracles. He had preached that the kingdom of God was at hand.
So they go up on the roof. Maybe they didn’t know the owner of the house. Maybe they did. It was a small town, not Jerusalem. But I don’t know whether it matters. Is it more radical to make a hole in a roof of a person you know or a person you don’t know? Either way it could be fixed.
But the focus of the story isn’t the relationship between the four men and the owner of the house. It’s not the relationship between the four men and the friend they were carrying. The focus of the story is Jesus. He’s the person everyone is orbiting around. Questioners, believers, friends desperate to help their friend. Some people want to know whether he has authority. Some people hope that he will use it. Some people are watching attentively.
We still do these things, sitting in living rooms, asking him questions, hoping for a miracle.