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|Posted by Virginia on September 23, 2010 at 12:56 PM|
There is a wonderful story of friendship tucked in the book of Mark. Allow me to share it with you, in my own words. Beginning with chapter two we see that Jesus has entered Capernaum. He is returning home.
The word had been spreading throughout the country about Jesus. Everyone knew that He was a teacher, some thought He was a prophet and others believed He might even be the promised Savior. He was speaking and teaching, healing people and dealing with demons wherever He went. Jesus had become the rock star of His day!
Verse two says that, "So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them." The house where He was staying had been filled with people. The overlow gathered outside in hopes of hearing Jesus teach. They hoped for healing for themselves or for someone they cared about.
What would you do if you had come upon that scene? You have brought a friend along who has suffered for a very long time, hoping your friend would be healed. You can't even reach the front door through all the people. You know that this moment in time might never come again and your friend will not receive the healing that he so badly needs. What would you do?
Verse three shows this scene unfolding. Five guys, I imagine them as buddies growing up together. They care very much for each other, but one in particular has a need. He is unable to walk, so the four carry him, in hopes that Jesus will heal him. Upon their arrival they see the large crowd and realize that they can't reach Jesus. In that moment the four friends have a choice to make. Do they turn around and head home or do they press on?
I am very glad to say that they chose to not give up! It was that important to them that their friend who needed healing should receive it. So what did they do? They took their friend up to the roof! Carrying him each step of the way on a mat. They dug a whole in the roof large enough to lower him down. Somehow they figured out just where to dig so when they lowered their buddy down he would be right in front of Jesus.
What a plan! Can you imagine being seated in the living room below as bits of ceiling start falling and suddenly the room has a skylight? I imagine Jesus not taking notice and everyone following His lead as He continued to teach. Jesus smiles to Himself, pleased by the love of these friends.
Finally, the four lower their friend, who so needs the touch of Jesus, right in front of Him. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (verse 5) Notice that it says, "when Jesus saw their faith". Jesus responded to the faith and actions of the four friends! In verse eleven Jesus says to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." The friend who could not walk received his healing from Jesus and walked home that day!
What a story! What a message! The friends did for their friend in need what he couldn't do for himself. They presented him to Jesus! What a beautiful example of love and friendship. When we lift up a friend or loved one to Jesus in prayer we are following the example of these four friends. And it makes Jesus smile!