Of Faith and Friendship
We should consider it a privilege to have friends who will carry us to Christ
True friends are of utmost importance as we walk through the land of the living. One of the most frequently-referred to friendships in the Bible is that of David and Jonathan. Read almost anything about Biblical friendship, and theirs is likely an example that pops up.
Another important Biblical friendship
Of no less significance is the friendship between the unnamed men shared in Matthew 9, Mark 2, and Luke 5. We don’t know much about the group of friends, other than one of them was paralyzed from birth, and there would have likely been four others carrying him around (as in verse 3 it says he “was borne of four”). After word spread of the many miracles Jesus was performing, these men heard that Jesus was in Capernaum, and they brought their palsied friend to Jesus to be healed.
Bringing friends to Jesus
We read in Mark 2 that there were so many people gathered to see Jesus that the men couldn’t get into the house where He was (v. 4). Convinced that Christ could heal their friend, and desperate to get their friend into His presence, these guys went up on the rooftop, broke up the tiles and other roof coverings, and let their friend down through the ceiling. This was no easy task—it was difficult enough to carry a paralyzed man, let alone break up the roof, and safely lower the man in the bed down into the building—and yet these men knew if they could get their friend in front of Jesus, that Jesus could heal him. There was no guarantee that Jesus would heal the paralyzed man, but they had to try. Now that’s friendship!
We read in Mark 2:5, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” When Jesus saw their faith, not when Jesus saw the paralyzed man’s faith, but when Jesus saw their faith. Matthew Henry wrote that, “True faith and strong faith may work variously, conquering sometimes the objections of reason, sometimes those of sense; but however manifested, it shall be accepted and approved by Jesus Christ.” The faith of these friends was evident, so much so, that Jesus saw their faith. These friends were what we say today, “Living your faith.” Their faith was seen through their actions. Can the same be said for us?
It is a privilege to have friends who will labour to carry us to Christ
In the face of uncertainties – and let’s be real, there are many uncertainties in the world right now – do we demonstrate a visible faith? Are we willing to step out and act in faith, even if we don’t know exactly what the plan is? Do we trust God enough knowing that He is in total control, to totally yield to Him, even if we can’t see the outcome? It is hard to answer “yes” to these questions, but the answer becomes easier when – like the paralyzed man – it is believed and carried by a group of friends. We should consider it a privilege if when we are unable to answer “yes” for ourselves, we have such friends who will labour to carry us to Christ and exercise their faith on our behalf.