Disclaimer: The author wishes to state that this story account is in no way intended a mockery of the Bible, but rather a focus on the faith and belief of four guys who may have been considered thugs in present day.
The whole town of Umu was agog. They have heard so much about this man who goes about towns doing things that are beyond ordinary. Finally, he’s coming to Umu. Everyone was ready, men had suspended going to the farm on that day and women neither went to the market. Those that went had come back earlier than usual. They all want to catch a glimpse of this man.
The village town hall was already filled to the brim as early as 10am. By the time it was 12, some of them were already hungry and had to rush home to get something to eat. The smart ones had taken enough money to buy fruits and also brought their hand fan and handkerchief. Everyone was waiting.
Osas had been there all morning and his ears are full. Everyone kept talking about this man and the wondrous things he had done in the neighbouring towns he had visited. Osas, in his curiosity walked up to Mr Obi who seemed to have the loudest voice among the talkers and asked him if these things were true.
Osas: excuse me sir, you seem so certain talking about this man, can he really do all these things that people have been saying hi did?
Mr Obi: (not mincing words) listen child, what the people have been saying does not even come close to describing what the can do. I was at Ladipo a few days ago to buy some parts for my horse when I saw this man talk to a man with leprosy. If someone had told me that anybody talked to a man with leprosy in this country, I won’t have believed it, but I saw this one with my own eyes and he wasn’t even afraid or fidgeting while talking to him. But that’s not all, after their conversation, he hugged the man and told him that his leprosy has been healed and immediately, the man became clean right there on the spot.
Osas: hanhan! That’s not possible abeg. How can anybody stand close to someone that suffers from leprosy, not to talk of having a conversation with him. You now said he even healed the leprosy by just hugging him.
Mr Obi: I don’t blame you. If you were the one telling me the story too I won’t believe you.
Osas: so sir, if he really did these things, do you think he can heal a crippled boy?
Mr Obi: oh he did that many times. That one is like bread and tea to him.
Osas: that means he can heal my friend?
Mr Obi: where’s your friend?
Osas: he’s at home but I can go and carry him down here.
Mr Obi: so what are you still waiting for?
Osas is seen running towards his house. As he approaches bend that leads to his street, he runs into John.
Osas: oh John, thank goodness I saw you, where are you headed?
John: the town hall. I want to see this man everybody has been talking about. Everywhere I went today, it’s the same topic.
Osas: that’s good! That’s where I’m going too.
John: you miss road? Is this the direction to go if you’re going to the town hall?
Osas: no, I actually want to go and call Yinka.
John: which Yinka?
Osas: the Yinka that stays in my compound.
John: but he can’t walk?
Osas: I know. That’s exactly why he has to be there.
John: you’re not serious. How do you expect him to get there? And how do you expect him to cope in that crowd? What if there’s a stampede and they step on him? You better just leave the poor.
Osas: that’s why I need your help. Imagine seeing Yinka walk after all these years. Ehn! I asked around and I’m convinced that this man can help him walk. All we have to do is just get him to see Yinka.
John: but two of us can’t carry him.
Osas: I know. We will call Chidi and Seun to help.
Yinka is lying on his mat playing a crossword puzzle when Chidi, Seun, John and Osas rushes in.
Yinka: guys, how far? Why una dey run like this? Hope nothing?
Seun: it’s you we came to get. We’re taking you to the town hall.
Osas: yes! I’m sure you heard about that man that’s coming to town today, he can help you walk.
Yinka: abeg you guys should just leave me. That’s what Mrs Adegoke said the other time and took me to see one man, nothing happened. Same thing with the one your mom took me to last year. I’m tired of people just raising my hopes for nothing. Thanks anyway.
Osas: this one is different. Haven’t you been hearing what people have been saying about this man all day. He even healed a man with leprosy by just talking to him. Can you beat that?
Back at the town hall. The crowd by this time has quadrupled. Jesus was there already and has started teaching. The windows and doors has been blocked by the crowd. The four friends tried to get Yinka in, but there was no way again. Everyone outside too was trying to get in or just trying to get a peek of this man they’ve been hearing about all day. Dejected, they thought of waiting til the end when everyone was gone so they can go near him.
Seun: guys, let’s be smart. We can’t afford to wait til the end because it’ll even be more difficult than this. This crowd will keep increasing and these people outside will also be waiting to see him or touch him at the end. The press by that time will be thicker than this. We have to do something now.
Yinka: please guys, just take me home. You have tried a lot and I’m grateful.
Chidi: we can’t go back at this juncture again. You know me, I don’t do things halfway and then give up. We have to see this through. This man has to attend to Yinka today.
Osas: but how na? Are we going to climb on the heads of all these people to go in?
Chidi: wait! That’s a good idea, that’s exactly what we will do. We will climb. Since we can’t go in from the ground, let’s go in from the top.
Everyone looks at him like he’s mad but he continues talking.
Chidi: see that water tank over there? We will climb it and get on the roof. Then we get a very good rope and tie the four edges of this stretcher and we will lower the stretcher in from the roof.
John: you want to destroy someone’s roof? Be like say you wan go jail abi?
Chidi: we will fix the roof later. I still have about 40k in my account.
Seun: you’re actually making sense ooo.
Yinka: what if I fall?
John : what if you fall? What’s the worst that could possibly happen? You’ll break your leg. Is that your fear? ( Chuckles) see cripple wey dey fear to break leg ooo.
Seun: let’s do this. Two of us will first climb up, then the remaining two of us will lift the stretcher or we can call two more people from this crowd to help us lift it to the roof, then the remaining two of us will climb up to meet you.
So they went up on the roof and lowered the crippled man down through a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat into the room so that the crippled man was lying before Jesus. Jesus saw how much faith they had and said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The wise men of the village and the chief priests thought to themselves, “Who is this man who dares to say such things? What an insult to God! No one but God can forgive sins.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you have these questions in your minds? The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ There’s no proof that it really happened. But what if I say to the man, ‘Stand up and walk’? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!” The man immediately stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and walked home, praising God. Everyone was completely amazed and began to praise God. They were filled with great respect for God’s power. They said, “Today we saw amazing things!”
Luke 5:19-26 ERV.