Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Faith of Good Friends

Tuesday March 24, 2020 Some material taken from Miracles of Healing by Sam Nobles
And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.  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 2:2-5

The Faith of Good Friends
Yesterday we talked about why Jesus performed miracles in His ministry. Today we are going to look a little closer at the four men that took such good care of their friend.  
Jesus was at a house in Capernaum, a packed house.  So many people were there that day that no one else could get in. The friends of a paralyzed man heard that Jesus was back, and they wanted desperately to take their friend so that Jesus could heal him. They were so desperate that they realized the only way they were going to get their friend in front of Jesus was to cut a hole in the roof of a perfect stranger’s house.  And they did it. When Jesus looks up and sees the hole and sees the four men lowering the paralyzed man down, He was impressed. He was impressed with the friends and how they had so much faith for Him to heal their friend, and how they were so willing to take extreme measures for this guy – because of faith.  
How many of us would love to hear Jesus say He is impressed with our faith?  We have friends and we say we pray for them, but do we have the faith of these men when we care for those loved ones in our lives? Do we cut open the roof for them, or just casually mention them in our prayers, if at all? We do not realize the power of intercession and prayer, and we do not fully utilize the power we have in Christ to intercede for others. We have the same power that rose Jesus from the grave - resurrection power! We need to use that power to ask bold things for others, and for our own lives. We work in church, teach, lead, and fellowship, but if we are not truly caring for the people, we are not doing what God has put us here to do. 
Jesus was impressed with their faith because He knew that they got it. They understood that people are more important than ministry. The people are the ministry, or they should be.  It should not be about the program because when the program takes priority, it is the people who suffer. 
These men cut a hole in the roof, lowered their friend down directly in front of Jesus, and Jesus looks up at them instead of focusing on the clear object of this act.  It is clear to everyone there who the person in need is, and what his need is, but he doesn’t get the attention at first.  Jesus sees the faith of his friends, and because He can see their faith, He forgives the sins of the paralyzed man. But that is not why they brought him - right?  They brought him to Jesus so He could make him walk again, but Jesus takes care of business first. The man needed to be healed spiritually more than he needed to be healed physically.  We can tend to let the physical take priority over the spiritual and sometimes, it might be necessary to meet some physical needs to then be able to make a spiritual impact in someone’s life. That happens all the time in ministry, because part of ministry is meeting physical needs. Jesus knew and wanted all these people to know that forgiveness is what we all need more than we need to be saved from our circumstances. 
We all want to be saved from this horrible virus ransacking the world right now.  We want these circumstances to change but they seem to keep changing in the wrong direction.  Instead we need to focus on our hearts and the hearts of those in our lives.  We can’t change the circumstances and Jesus can and will change them in His time. In the meantime, pray.  Pray bold prayers for your loved ones, friends, and for your own needs.  Pray in faith and live that faith out loud. The world needs to see it now more than ever.

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