“The Man Let Down Through the Roof”
Luke 5:17-26 or Mark 2:1-12
Jesus had spent quite a lot of time in and around Capernaum. He must have made it sort of a home base. News spread fast that Jesus was back in town and a huge crowd gathered. People packed the house where he was staying because they heard about the healings that he had done. There are many kinds of paralysis, affecting different parts of the body or all of it. It seems this man was so disabled he could not walk.
His bed probably was a simple mat carried by the corners. The crowd of people was packed about the doorway, trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. There was no way four men could carry a man through that crowd and into the house through the door. The four men probably used an outside stairway to carry their friend up to the roof. Roofs were often flat.
To make a hole, the men would have had to dig through the clay and remove some of the sticks. Probably the roof was so low that no ropes were needed to let the man down. People inside the house could reach up and take him as those outside let him down.
Telling the Story
Read the story from a children’s Bible.
A few online options include:
A good option for older children. This is 8 minutes long.
Great animation in this one. Short and to the point.
Paralyzed Man & Mat Craft
Printed Paralyzed Man template
Large craft sticks
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Give one printed man figure to each child.
Colour and cut out paralyzed man printout.
Cut a rectangle of felt to fit between two large craft sticks.
Hot glue felt to craft sticks. Do this for the children so they don’t burn themselves!
Adult should poke needle through middle of man and mat.
Help child push brass brad through hole in man and mat.
Fold out tabs of the brad on the back of the mat to keep man on his mat.
A Game to Play
MAN ON THE MAT RACE
Purpose: Children enjoy a race that introduces the story about the healing of the man on the mat. Supplies: Poster board or pillowcase (one per team), ping-pong balls or inflated non-helium balloons
Divide children into relay teams of four friends on each team.
Team line up at the starting line.
Each friend holds one corner of the “mat.”
Place a “man” (ping pong ball or balloon) on each mat.
On your signal, teams race to the finish line.
If the man falls off the mat, the team must start over at the starting point for the race.
The first team to reach the finish line with the man on the mat and each friend still holding a corner of the mat wins.
See also the attached word games and a maze for the story.
SNACK: STUCK TOGETHER
Purpose: Children will eat a snack while discussing friendship.
Snack Suggestion: Cream-filled sandwich cookies. You could also make your own sandwich cookies by spreading frosting or a similar sweet cream on a cookie. Press another cookie onto the first cookie so the filling is “sandwiched” in the centre.
These cookies remind us of friends who stick together and help each other. Today, we learned the paralyzed man had four very good friends who “stuck together” to help him get to Jesus. While we eat our snack, let’s talk about how we help our friends.