The Children\'s Chapel

The Big Surprise!
by Steven Wilson

Four friends set down the lame man in his bed right in front of Jesus

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

“That's it, isn't it? That's the big surprise,” said the man excitedly as he watched his friend stitching his bed. “You're sewing those straps on my bed so that I can go everywhere with you. That's the surprise, isn't it?” The man wanted to jump up from the floor where he lay and hug his friend but his paralysed body wouldn't let him.

“No,” said his friend laughing.“This isn't it. It's much better than this. Just you wait and see.” He started to hook twine through the straps he had sewn in each of the four corners.

At that moment, three other men arrived. They saw the bed and nodded in agreement. “That'll do it,” they said.

“What?” said the paralysed man, nearly bursting with excitement. “Do what? What will it do? Please tell me what the surprise is.”

Each of the four friends took hold of a length of twine and facing forward they hooked it over their shoulder lifting the bed “You'll see,” said the three as they picked the man off the floor and laid him carefully down on his bed. Each of the four friends took hold of a length of twine, and, facing forward, they hooked it over their shoulder, lifting the bed.

On the count of three, they sped from the house into the dusty town. At great speed, they darted down narrow streets past deserted houses. Without so much as slowing up for the corners, they skidded round each bend.

“Wow!” shouted the man. “This is it! This is the big surprise — a crazy, death defying ride through the streets of Capernaum. This is a great surprise!”

It was crowded about with people “No!” shouted the men. “This isn't it. The surprise is much better than this.”

Soon they arrived outside a building by the lake of Galilee. It was crowded about with people. There was no way through the front door. The four friends looked dejected at the thought of not being able to get inside. Then one of them had a great idea. “The roof,” he said and the others agreed.

“What are you doing?” said the man as they hauled him up onto the flat roof of the crowded building.

“You'll see!” they said as they frantically removed the slates from the roof and dug a big hole to lower him through.

They frantically removed the slates from the roof and dug a big hole to lower him throughThey started to lower him down through the hole

“Is this it? Is this the big surprise?” said the man a little concerned now. “I think I'd rather go on another race through the streets if it's all the same to you.”

He looked up into the Face of Jesus “No!” said his friends as they started to lower him down through the hole. “You'll see.”

The paralysed man lay stiffly in the middle of his bed as his four friends lowered him into the building. They set him down right in front of a man who smiled down at him.

“So that's the big surprise!” thought the paralysed man. “Wow! My friends must have so much faith. This really is the best surprise ever,” and he looked up into the Face of Jesus.

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1. Why couldn't his friends carry the paralyzed man through the door to Jesus?
2. Were the friends discouraged by this difficulty they encountered?
3. What final plan did they make to get their friend to Jesus?
4. Do you think they had great faith to bring the man to Jesus?
5. What is faith?

A friend is always worth the effort!

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39b).


Do you like surprises? What sort of surprise do you like best? What was your biggest surprise? Did it make you happy?

Have you ever surprised someone else? Did you enjoy surprising them? Have you ever helped a friend less fortunate than yourself? How did it make you feel?

What was the big surprise his friends gave the paralyzed man? Do you think Jesus was happy to see the paralyzed man and his friends even though they broke the roof to reach Him?

[After discussion:] Jesus loves for us to help others and make them happy. What are some ways you could surprise your parents or grandparents, siblings, friends or teacher, or especially someone you know is struggling? Remember, the biggest gift you can give someone is when you tell them about Jesus and with faith bring them to Him in prayer.


Dog and boy praying beside bed

Dear Lord, please help me to help others.
Please teach me to know that it makes You happy
when I give my time so that other people benefit.
Thank You for the help You give me.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

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Last updated June 26, 2022

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