TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. (Luke 5:18-19 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Are you a faithful friend? Are you a friend of faith? We have two things going on in these questions. Ponder those for a moment and we’ll come back to them…
Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26 tell the same story. These passages tell of the time when a group of friends lowered their paralyzed friend through a roof to get him in front of Jesus for healing. This is a story in which we typically focus on the exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees. But today, instead of focusing on the miracle, we’re going to take a closer look at the paralyzed man and specifically his friends.
Imagine you were paralyzed. You were unable to move. Unable to work. Completely dependent on the help of others. Then, your friends got the news. Jesus is nearby! Dare you ask your friends to take you? Did the friends volunteer? The Bible doesn’t tell us who initiated the decision to go to Jesus, but the point is—these friends had faith. They didn’t say, “Yeah, we probably won’t be able to get to him… Jesus is going to be busy… security is going to be tight and we likely won’t find a close parking spot and dude—you’re kind of heavy… just hang tight. We’ll run some supper by later today, but we’ve got other things to do.”
Instead, they moved to action, stopping at nothing. They didn’t even see the issue of tearing apart someone else’s house as a limitation to getting their friend in front of Jesus. I see their friendship as an example of loyalty, love, and fierce determination… They had the faithful friend thing down. They were there for him. Determined to help him. Selfless in their care, they wanted what was best for their friend.
They were also friends of faith. Extreme faith. The “we’re going to tear apart a roof no matter how mad it makes the homeowner or if he sues us for destruction of property” kind of faith. I’m not advocating that destruction of property is okay, but we can all agree that it’s extreme! They took a gamble they would figure out a way to get to Jesus and it paid off. They were able to get the paralyzed man in front of Him…
What would you have done? Would your friends call you a faithful friend? Would they say you are a friend of faith? We can learn a lot from the friends of a paralyzed man… they set the example of loving others before Jesus even gave the new commandment. They showed unwavering faith despite the obstacles and circumstances and extreme loyalty to their friend.
And of course, Jesus healed the man. Though the Bible doesn’t record Jesus’ response to the faithful friends, we can make a strongly educated assumption that their faith made Jesus incredibly happy. Jesus showed time and again His appreciation and love for faith. You know His heart was touched by theirs.
Is His heart touched by yours?
Today, as you pray, thank God for examples of faithful friendship and faith-filled lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be both a faithful friend and a friend of faith.
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