The word ‘friend’ is often casually thrown around. We meet someone on our way to work once and the next time we are intducing that person as a friend even before names have been exchanged. On social media, we find people we don’t know sending us ‘friend’ request. I always wonder, how can someone be your friend when you don’t know them or have anything in common with them. With that said, I have and still do fall into that trick of using that word loosely.
Apart from the friendship of David and Jonathan in the bible, there is another set of great friends that we probably don’t talk about as much as we should.
Until we go through challenges in life, we really don’t know who our friends are. Friendship comes with loyalty. Can you stick with your friend through thick and thin? Can your friend trust you? Am I a loyal friend? Or am I the type who is only there when the party is on?
The friends in Mark 2:1-5 helped their mate get his miracle. Jesus’ fame meant that crowd followed Him wherever He went. On this particular day He happened to be ministering in someone else’s house. These guys heard of this event and knew straight away that they needed to take their paralysed friend there. This was a life or death situation for them. All appointments were cancelled because they needed to sort their friend out. They have showed sympathy, it was now time to show empathy. Their paralysed friend’s need moved them to action.
Sometimes, sorry isn’t just enough. In fact you don’t need to be a friend to be able to say sorry. Anyone can say sorry. What makes you a friend is what you do after saying sorry. It can be hard to know what to do when our friends are going through a tough time. However, that isn’t an excuse to stay passive. Cook dinner and take to their home. Go spend the day with them. Help with groceries or laundry. Take him/her out for an event. Organise a worship and praise session to lift his/her spirit. Don’t just sit there saying ‘I don’t know what to do‘. Do what you would like someone to do for you if you were the one in need.
Friends show up!
Getting to the place where Jesus was would have been tough for these guys considering they must have hard to carry their friend there. Now there was another obstacle to conquer. There was no way to get through to Jesus Christ.
You see if they had left their friend there saying ‘at least we tried’ probably we could have agreed with them because to be honest they tried. But they didn’t. Do we leave our friend’s half way? Your friend is grieving. Do you only make the first call, first visit and disappear? Your friend is looking for a job. Do you only send the one job link and forget about him/her? I know life is busy. We all have our lives to live. However we might be the next person needing help. How would we feel if we were treated the same way?
Would I want to have a friend like me?
These guys were proactive. They made a hole at the roof top and brought their paralysed friend down to where Jesus Christ was. This is the interesting bit. We are not told of the faith of the man in need. However we are made aware that his healing was as a result of the faith of his friends. How amazing is this! This means that our faith can sure help our friends receive their miracles too.
A lot of people are in need, not just spiritual but physical and emotional need. Let’s not only meet their spiritual needs but we should also meet their other needs. Human need moved these guys to act. Let it also move us to act. What are you doing about your friend’s situation?
A friend in need is a friend indeed.