Mark 2:1-12 are a few of my favorite verses in the New Testament. They just happened to be part of the daily Bible reading schedule recently.
They give an account of a miracle that involves four different groups/individuals:
1. A paralytic man in need of a miracle.
2. Friends of the paralytic who provide necessary transportation of a friend in need.
3. Skeptics/Doubters who reject the obvious implications of the event they are witnessing.
4. Jesus, the miracle worker and forgiver of sin.
The paralytic was unable to come to the Lord on his own. However, his friends overcame obstacles and made sure that he would see Jesus. The Lord would first forgive his sins. The skeptics doubted Jesus’ authority to do that because only God had the power to forgive sins. This is followed by the miracle that not only healed the paralytic but also was evidence that Jesus had the power to forgive sins.
There is more to this than just observing a miracle. There is one fact that really stands out to me, it is the paralytic’s friends would not be stopped in bringing him to Jesus. No obstacle could stand in their way. They went out of their way, going the extra mile, putting in the extra effort when most people would have given up. They broke through the roof and lowered him down. There was an urgency in getting him to Jesus. Their friend needed to come to the only one who could save him from his physical ailments.
Do you demonstrate this type of friendship when you know that a friend has an urgent spiritual need that only Jesus can meet? How far will you go to make sure your friend(s) will come to Jesus? Will you give up because you meet with resistance or hindrances? Or, Will you be the one to break through and help remove the obstacles in their way and make sure they come to the One who died for their sins? Will you be the one who introduces a friend or loved one to Jesus? It can start with a simple invitation. It may involve more serious conversation and Bible study. Are you willing to put in the extra effort?
So, What kind of friend are you?