What does Mark 2:4 mean?Four men bring their paralytic friend to an over-crowded house in hopes that Jesus will heal him. Literally every traditional access to Jesus is barred. So these loyal friends try something untraditional.
Homes in ancient Israel typically had exterior stairs leading to a flat rooftop terrace. A main beam ran the length of the interior and was reinforced by several posts. Rafters spanned crosswise from the beam to the perpendicular walls, and brushwood covered the spaces between. On top of the brushwood was a covering of clay mixed with straw. Ceilings stood about six feet above the floor.
Luke 5:19 says this house has clay formed into tiles, not pounded into a solid mass. So the four men tear up the tiles, make a hole through the brushwood, and lower the cot into the room. Undoubtedly, fleeing falling twigs and evading a man lowered on a bed to the floor gives the crowd more incentive to get out of the way than when his friends had tried to carry him through the doorway.
Despite that fact that Jesus' ministry is primarily to teach, and that His plans to rest are often interrupted by people seeking healing, He clearly loves it when people's faith drives them to take drastic measures to find Him. As seen later, the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:24–34) will have no legal or ceremonial right to touch Jesus' cloak, but in her faith she will dare, and Jesus will commend her. The Canaanite woman knew her needs were second-string compared to those of the Jews, but it didn't stop her from asking Jesus to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:21–28). Both women are held up to us as examples of bold faithfulness, which we are to emulate.