“Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralytic man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4.
Mark chapter 2 begins with a short story with lasting impact. Jesus completely transforms the life of a paralytic man. This incredible miracle speaks not only of Jesus' heart towards people but also of the value of friendship.
If you were ever looking for a picture of authentic friendship, here it is. These were not fair-weather friends. Their love for their friend and their faith in Jesus’ power and willingness to heal him motivated them to carry their friend to Jesus. They even cared enough to dig through a roof to get him there. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven…get up, take your mat and go home.’” (Mark 2:5&11) The faith of the paralytic man’s friends had caught Jesus’ attention.
No matter who you are, there will be (and probably have been) times in your life when you are lame—those instances when you need to rely on the care and faith of those around you to diligently carry you to Jesus.
So the questions beg to be asked:
Are you surrounding yourself with the type of people who would go out of their way to carry you to Jesus? And at the same time…are you that type of friend?
Let’s choose our friends wisely and be a wise choice for anyone else to choose.
God help me to be the type of friend who loves at all times. When my friends are in need, give me the diligence to express my love towards them with care and faith. And please give me wisdom to surround myself with the same type of friends.
Consider a friend who is in need of salvation, or healing, or both. Take some time today to carry them to Jesus in prayer. Be honest enough with your nearest friend(s) to share a need in your life that you would like them to carry to Jesus in prayer. Or talk confidentially with an online mentor who will pray for and encourage you.