FRIENDS

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. “

Proverbs 18:24

The efforts of local media to attract us to people in need, (local, national or international) is momentous, especially because it is continuous, and by all appearance without bias. They deserve our THANKS!

On reflection of those who have need, or those who respond to such needs of others, I was attracted to the story recorded by Dr. Luke. Recall with me how he purposed to write with accuracy the life of Jesus!

As the Savior of mankind had retreated to a home, the crowd gathered outside for multiplied reasons. (To listen to his teaching, to be healed,– perhaps to do a little boasting later as to having “touched” Him, or in some way of even having manipulated an autograph. I imagine there was a unique style of paparazzi of that day also!)

Some men, having heard of Jesus, came carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. The crowd was so massive that they could not gain entrance in a normal way- hence they carried him to the roof, removed tiles, and placed him in front of our Lord waiting for the expected results – Healing! Seeing their faith, He healed that man.

Let us focus on the men who brought that paralyzed man to be healed. They had to be FRIENDS! The man had nothing to offer for the friendship that developed between them. How the paralysis developed we know not, and why it continued we know not. What we do know is that these men were prodded inwardly to do something outwardly that eventuated in his healing. They were the “stick to it” friends!

The lists of friends that have stuck with you in the past and continue to stick with you through the difficulties of life and expect nothing in return, are usually few. We experience different levels of friendship, some deeply and some not so deep. These men were as solid as a rock… a real “friend sticks closer than a brother”. I would be remiss if I did not say I have some like that.

Perhaps the previous thoughts from Proverbs 18:24 and Luke 5:19 will prod your action. In dealing with this man, and those who had brought him there, are the explanatory words -”Seeing their faith”. This confirms their confidence in Jesus and their devotion to the man who was physically confined. They knew in their hearts that their friends problem was worthy of our Lord’s attention. They felt the compassion and concern that the future held something special for this individual. Jesus responded, first with the spiritual—“Thy sins be forgiven thee!” The reasoning in the hearts of the Pharisees and Sadducees thought it blasphemy because He was asserting His deity. In reality He was asserting both His deity and humanity. When told to “get up, pick up your stretcher and go home”, the man obeyed. You would think it was the end of the story, and in a way it is, but there is one word here in Luke 5:20 that I have saved until now: “Friend”

The Lord clearly said He is a Friend of sinners. He has more, much more for the man who has been “paralyzed” with sin. Come to Him, leave your sin where it belongs, at the feet of Jesus, but let all see and hear that you have been healed, and you have another FRIEND, whose name is Jesus.

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