What Friends Are For
God, speak to me today as I read Your Word, listen for Your Spirit, and turn my heart toward You.
Read Mark 2:1-12
 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, 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 by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?  Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?  But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man,  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy did the religious leaders accuse Jesus?
There are many ways in which we can express our friendship to other people, but by any measure these blokes would put many friends to shame. They overcome obstacles (2) and are prepared to behave in ways that might not be quite socially acceptable (4) in order that their paralyzed mate gets to be with Jesus. We’re not explicitly told why they bring him, but presumably they want him to be healed, and they seem pretty determined to try to get him into the presence of Jesus. One of my favorite Bible characters is Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He’s only mentioned on his own three times in the Bible (John 1:40–42; 6:8,9; 12:22), but each time he‘s bringing someone to Jesus (Simon Peter, the boy with the loaves and fishes, some Greeks). Each time he risks embarrassment, but each time there are unexpected results. Like Andrew, these men who brought their friend to Jesus get a lot more than they bargained for. Their friend is not only healed but forgiven, and is made healthy enough to carry the mat on which they had brought him!
Know that God wants you to work with Him to bring healing and forgiveness. Ask God to show you to whom and help you.
Lord, let me be known as someone who brings others to You. Thank You.
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