F R I E N D

Dr. Luke writes extensively about the Wonderful Lord Jesus.  In particular, I refer to an account early in the ministry of the Savior, when some friends of a paralytic were taking him on a stretcher, hoping for Jesus to heal him. 

Realizing the situation to be almost impossible, they climbed on the roof of the house; let him down through the roof, into the middle of the crowd, and into the presence of the Savior.

There is immediate response on the part of Jesus, who saw their faith.  How would you like to be on a team of men who appreciated you so much that they resorted to bringing you to Jesus?  Initially, we are made aware of their faith.  Try as you might to envision the conversation as they arrived at his home, possibly already carrying the stretcher, and his being told, “We are taking you to see Jesus!”  A possible discussion ensued, but the trip was: “Let’s go!”

You arrive at where Jesus is located and it is virtually impossible to penetrate the crowd who are enamored with His teaching and healing.  Another brief discussion with the paralytic gentleman as they announce: “To the top of the house we go.”  You know that the crowd has to see what is going on, and the Savior is aware also.  He says nothing to or about the paralytic initially.  He looks at those men, who were probably standing up there looking down, and the record says: “Seeing their faith,” …You know, looking back you probably are aware of some individual, who seeing your need, exercised their faith…  They spoke to you concerning your need of Jesus, gave you literature, invited you to a meeting or church Service, and even picked you up in their car and brought you to church where they, in faith, knew in their heart that you needed and would find Jesus.  He took note of the faith being exercised on your part.  He honored it!

Then the explosion… Jesus looked at that man and His next word and words were ever so simple: “FRIEND, your sins are forgiven you.”   A more beautiful word or words could not be heard!  “FRIEND!”  In spite of the tragic experiences that might have been behind him, Jesus called him friend!   Then He adds: “your sins are forgiven you”.  If you are a Christian, you recall those words, as do I, when HE said those words or their equivalent to me!

Naturally, the scribes and Pharisees had something to say about what had happened.  You know as well as I, that someone, somewhere is going to challenge your experience.  Before that takes place outwardly Jesus says: “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?

“But, so 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, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.”

Jesus says in effect to you: “Friend!  I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.”  From a spiritual application: Pick up your stretcher, go home and let it ever be a reminder of what Jesus said when you allowed Him to wash your sins away!

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