Four Friends

Four Friends

Mark 2:3-4

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.   NKJV

What an incredible story.  This is it in a nutshell.  The four friends of a paralyzed guy do whatever it takes to get him to Jesus.  They did and their friend is healed – end of story.  We don’t know who the paralyzed man is, but we know he is the recipient of an incredible miracle.  But those four friends just disappear into the background of the story.  Yet these four unknown are the linchpin to their friend’s healing.  How do I know that?  Because Luke 5:17 says “the power of the Lord was present to heal.”  If those men could not get their friend to where Jesus was, there would have been no healing that day for him.

I was thinking about how there was nothing in it for these four men.  They just did what they did selflessly, with only one thing in mind — help for a friend who is in need.  When that day started, their intention was to carry their friend to Jesus.  That is already a great act of compassion.  Think about it…each man carrying a corner of a mat being used as a stretcher…shouldering the weight of their friend.  We don’t know how heavy the paralyzed man was, and we don’t know how far they had to carry him, but regardless of what the answers are, what is true is that they carried out a great act of kindness.  And when they couldn’t get near Jesus, they didn’t throw in the towel and say, “Sorry.  We gave it our best shot.”

Instead, they rolled up their sleeves with an attitude that said, “We didn’t come this far just to be turned away.”  So they began hauling him up to the top of the roof — that had to be even more difficult!  But that still wasn’t the end.  They had to dismantle the homeowner’s roof.  I love the HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” and I know that Chip Gaines loves demo day, but demolition is hard work.  Usually demolition is at the beginning, but for these four friends it was after all they had already done.  They had to be pretty spent already.  But it didn’t stop them.  And when it was all said and done, their friend walked away healed.

Both the Mark 2 and Luke 5 accounts record that after the healing, the eyewitnesses all gave glory and praise to God.  Nothing is said about people proclaiming, “Let’s hear it for the four friends that worked so hard!”  It didn’t happen.  But although the narrative doesn’t say this, I can’t but help but think that this is true — that every time those four men saw their friend walking around town, no longer confined to a mat, they were grateful to God for his miracle and grateful that they just got to be a part of it.

Guys, let’s be those who have no interest in reading about ourselves in the media, no interest in how followers we have on Facebook, but rather being satisfied with the fact that God loves us so much that He would allow us to participate in the work He’s doing!

During this Christmas season, let’s be self-less and God-glorifying.

Blessings and Merry Christmas,

Gene Pietrini

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
– Henry Drummond


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