Friends Carry One Another
Four unidentified men, guilty of breaking and entering and destruction of private property, are some of my heroes.
Their story is found in Mark 2 – a story of friendship, faith, and freedom.
“And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””
Mark 2:3-5 ESV
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”” Mark 2:10-12 ESV
There is no greater blessing than the love -and lift- of a friend.
Friends come in the form of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, fishing buddies, teammates, ministers, BFF’s, or simply as friends.
No man is an island. We need one another. We need relationships. We need love, acceptance, forgiveness. That’s what friends are for.
I wonder what this paralyzed man thought of his friends. I wonder if they were carrying him to Jesus at his request, or if they took him against his will, kicking and screaming. (Well, screaming anyway.)
I wonder what their friendship looked like after he was healed. I wonder how they told this story to their grandkids. I can see them laughing together and saying:
“So, yeah, there we were, on the roof lowering Ralph down toward Jesus. Ben over here was so scared. He kept saying, ‘Guys, we shouldn’t be doing this- we just broke into this guy’s house!’ And that’s when Jesus looked up and said, ‘Your sins are forgiven!’ Ben thought Jesus was talking to him and said, ‘Thank you sir!’ It was hilarious!”
Well, I’m not sure how it all played out that day, but I know these four men displayed true friendship and inspiring faith, which led to this man’s spiritual and physical freedom.
Today my prayer is not so much that I would have such friends, but that I would BE such a friend.
I wonder who, around me, needs to be carried today? Lord, make me a friend whose faith ignites freedom in others.