The Power of a Friend
Read Mark 2:4-5
"And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' "
Who objected to the healing of the crippled man? What was the reason? In addition to healing him, what else did Jesus do for the man?
I've lost my car keys on...well...more than one occasion. And I don't what's more frustrating, the time I lost looking for my keys, or realizing how close I came to finding them while I searched. If I dug just a bit deeper into that drawer, or if I had pulled the couch out just another inch, my search would have ended early.
But let's change the situation. Let's say you are the lost object, but you're not an object, you're a person. All around you see others searching for lost people, or at least they say there are. Because even though they pass near you many times, they somehow never see you. How frustrated would you feel?
We read in the Book of John in the Bible of a man who had been an invalid (crippled) for 38 years. He had spent that time near a pool of water in Jerusalem that people believed would heal the sick if they climbed in at just the right time. When asked why he had never climbed in, the man answered, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me" (John 5:7, ESV). He had no one.
In Mark we read of another crippled man. When Jesus came to his town, he must have hoped that Jesus would notice him, but with the crowds that always surrounded Jesus, the crippled man probably didn't hope too much. Imagine, then, the surprise of the crowd as the roof of the house they were in was suddenly opened up and the crippled man was lowered by four men above to the feet of Jesus.
Both of the crippled men were healed, but I want you to especially notice the second example and the impact that godly men and women can have on the lives of others. The first man had no friends, and no one reached out to him, and for 38 years he lived by the side of the pool hoping for a miracle. The other crippled man wasn't alone. Four men reached out to him and brought him to the very feet of Jesus.
Are there people around you today could use someone who cares? Reach out to them. Get some friends and show them God's love. And someday you'll know the joy of the four friends when they heard Jesus say, "My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5, ESV).
Lord, please help me to see others the way You see them. Bring hurting people onto my path and give me the courage and the conviction to reach out to them. Amen.