In the Gospel of Mark we are told a story of a paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by four friends. They had probably carried him for quite a distance only to find that they couldn’t get to the one they had hoped would help their friend. The house was overcrowded with people who also wanted to hear Jesus and be touched by him.
Those friends could have thought, we tried-but it didn’t work out; but they were of a different “caliber”. They wouldn’t give up that easily.
The gospel tells us that these guys dug a hole in the roof of the house, right above where Jesus was and lowered their friend on his mat through the opening. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralyzed man “Son, your sins are forgiven,” and “Get up, take your mat and go home.” The man, who before had to be carried, left the house forgiven of his sins and on his own feet. Everybody was amazed and glorified God.
This story gives evidence that Jesus, the Son of God has authority to forgive sin and authority to heal-but it also shows what true friendship is like.
The friends of the paralyzed man showed:
Commitment: They wanted to help their friend and didn’t shy away from what it would cost them. When an obstacle presented itself-they didn’t give up but found a way to remove it.
Servanthood: They carried their friend; they did the dusty job of digging through the roof and were risking to face a mad owner for tearing his house apart; they were willing to do anything necessary to bring their friend to Jesus.
Belief: They believed in and for each other. Note, that their faith prompted Jesus to forgive the sin and heal the paralyzed man.
Do you have friends like this? Or even more importantly, are you a friend like this to someone around you? The four friends in this story were consumed by the desire to see that their friend would meet Jesus and be helped, healed and forgiven by him.
Do we exhibit the same desire and commitment to introduce others to Jesus? Are we willing to selflessly serve each other so that God will be glorified
© 1998 Volkhard Graf, YWAM Native Ministries
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