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February 17th: Friends in Faith




Scripture: - Mark 2:1-17


Friends in Faith

If you have heard me preach for more than six sermons, you have probably heard me talk about this passage of Scripture. This could be an embellishment, or I could have brought it up more than that as well. This passage encompasses faith, forgiveness, healing, friendship, and a dash of property damage. A man is paralyzed and unable to make it to Jesus. So, his friends take it upon themselves to bring him to Jesus. It didn’t matter how heavy the cot was, how narrow the street was, how dense the crowd was, or how tall the house was because their friend needed Jesus, and therefore, they needed Jesus. As the VBS song put it, “Bustin’ through the roof just to get to Jesus.” Through the faith of a group of friends a man was made well.


When we hear the word "paralyzed," we often think of a physical disability. However, there are many more ways in which we can feel paralyzed. We are often paralyzed by fear, the status quo, and other pressures we put on ourselves. The other stories we read today include the calling of Levi the tax collector. Levi wasn’t paralyzed; he followed Jesus. But other onlookers were trying to paralyze Jesus because he was eating and spending time with the “wrong” people.


In essence, we need friends. Not just the friend we have in Jesus, but actual neighborly, physical friends. I am admittedly not great at this. My excuses have been that I have moved multiple times, I have a family, I have a peculiar job, and the phone works both ways. But they are just excuses, or other ways I have been paralyzed. I am going to try harder to be a good friend. I want to be someone's cot bearer, and I hope someone will help carry my cot as well.


Oddly enough, yesterday in the midst of the snow, I had the opportunity to be a friend to my college roommate. We haven’t been close for a while, but it is one of those friendships that would probably take off again without skipping a beat. Unfortunately, we reconnected because his father passed away unexpectedly. This was another big reminder to me that I have allowed excuses to paralyze some good friendships. Be a friend. It is worth it.


Questions:

  1. What paralysis do you need healed from?

  2. What are the friendships that you need to work on?

  3. Are there judgements that you may be making that are paralyzing the ministry of Jesus?


Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for creating me for relationships. Thank you for being my friend. Help me be a good friend to others. Heal me from the things that paralyze and keep me stuck in this life. God bless my family and friends I mention by name now… Amen.


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