Are you a friend – one of the four?

Several days later Jesus came back to Capernaum. The report went out that he was home. Many people had gathered. There was no room left, even in front of the door. Jesus was speaking God’s word to them.Four men came to him carrying a paralyzed man. Since they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof over the place where Jesus was. Then they lowered the cot on which the paralyzed man was lying.When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Some experts in Moses’ Teachings were sitting there. They thought, “Why does he talk this way? He’s dishonoring God. Who besides God can forgive sins?”At once, Jesus knew inwardly what they were thinking. He asked them, “Why do you have these thoughts? 

Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your cot, and walk’? 10 I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then he said to the paralyzed man, 11 “I’m telling you to get up, pick up your cot, and go home!”

12 The man got up, immediately picked up his cot, and walked away while everyone watched. Everyone was amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” – Mark 2:1-12

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Two of Six Young Bucks | Wimberley, Texas | June 2020

We sang, “You’ve Got a Friend” at NewSong worship recently. It’s not our normal kind of worship song, but the words are pretty good.

When you’re down and troubled And you need some love and care
And nothing, nothing is going right Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there You’ve got a friend

If the sky above you Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow Keep your head together
And call my name out loud Soon you’ll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, to see you again…

Songwriter: Carole King
You’ve Got a Friend lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I hope you have a friend. I hope there is someone in your life to whom you can call in the dark of night or the storms of life. I hope you are not alone. I hope that especially when it comes to bringing someone to Jesus. For this is not something for the faint of heart. There will be obstacles. There will be challenges; people in the way, crowded rooms, and no way to get your friend to Jesus. Unless you have a friend or two.

Perhaps you have a friend who has brought you to Jesus. That would be a good place to start looking for others who will also be your friends, and join you in the important work of befriending someone else toward Jesus. They may be somewhat reluctant. They may not want to make a fuss. They may initially come along with you out of a sense of duty.

But every posse needs a sheriff. Every gang needs a leader. Every friend needs someone who will help him do the right thing. And that’s what friends do. True friends help their friends do the right thing. They say, “Here! There’s a way. We can do this. We can get this friend to Jesus. Let’s do this!” They are the ones who in the most urgent moments say, “Let’s roll.”

I wrote yesterday about the fact that we’re all the man on the pallet. We all need help getting to Jesus. But when that once-lame man walked out of that house, I’m guessing he might well have become a friend to someone else who needed Jesus’ healing and hope. He was freed from his sins and now able to point others to the One who heals and forgives.

If you’ve been brought to Jesus it’s time to look for some friends. It’s time to join a merry band who will seek the down and out, help the helpless, bringing them to Jesus. You might feel the need for a friend. You might feel lonely. Look for someone who will join you in this mission of God. And when you find him and join in that mission you will forge a friendship deep and true. She may be an answer to your prayers and to the need of yet another friend who needs Jesus’ mercy, grace, and truth.

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