Summary: The best thing we can do to our friends is bring them to Jesus the way the friends of this paralytic did him.
“Bringing Our Friends To Jesus”
We as people greatly value human life. We look up to an admire people who see to save lives. Firefighters and police officer are looked up to and rightly so, this morning though we should value more than the physical life, but we should also value the soul. Today we are in the soul saving business.
We all want to be good friends to people. We like to be well liked. I am sure that many of us have some good friends, some people that we truly value. This morning though I want to prose that friendship goes far deeper than just being there for each other.
The question that I want to ask you is what will you do to bring your friends to Jesus.
We live in a world where people desperately need Jesus. People are empty and hopeless without Christ. People try to find happiness in so many different areas. The truth is that they cannot ever find true happiness apart from Jesus Christ. This morning I want to highlight the fact that it is our duty to bring our friends to Jesus.
Text Mark 2:1-12
I. They Cared For Their Friend
A good caring friend is something that is hard to find. The Proverbs even reiterate this truth saying, “a man of many companions will come to a ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” One of the greatest friendships that we read about in the Bible is the friendship between David and Jonathan. We learn that Jonathan even if it meant going behind his father’s back looked out for David’s well being. A good and true friend is hard to find. There’s a difference between being friends and being friendly. I am sure all of you have had someone calling you wanting to sell you something, they can be very friendly, but I doubt they want to be your friend. I’ve always wanted when one of them calls to start sharing my problems with them. To ask them if they want to hang out sometime. That will confuse them and I will tell them I thought they were my friend because they were being friendly. I doubt that would work. There is a difference in being a friend and being friendly.
A. A Friend’s Greatest Desire Should be For Spiritual Health
I am fascinated by this story; I am amazed at how these four men had a great desire to bring their friend to Jesus. The paralytic needed a little help in getting there. Obviously he couldn’t walk on his own, so these men showed what true friendship is all about. A true friend’s greatest desire should be for their friend’s spiritual well being.
We as people sometimes care for people’s physical well being far more than we care for people’s spiritual well being. What if as much care and concern was exerted over a lost friend as we do for a friend that is sick and may be suffering physically? What if we put as much care and concern into our family’s spiritual health as we do their success, their schooling, their extracurricular activities and other things? I believe the church would be radically transformed by having people that value people’s souls and spiritual condition above all else. We should care for people’s spiritual condition. We should care about how our friends are doing spiritually. My best friends are the ones that care about my relationship with God, those that check to see how I am doing spiritually, those that encourage me to be a better person. I know that they care and concern from me is not temporal, but rather is eternal. That is the type of friend I want to be and want to have. A friend’s greatest desire should be for spiritual well being. If you want to be a good friend check in on your friend’s spiritual condition. Hold them accountable to living a godly life.
B. A Good Friend Has Compassion For People
These four men exhibited compassion and a concern for their friend, they wanted him to get to Jesus and they went at great lengths to bring him there into Jesus’ presence. They knew that their friend had a need, and they wanted to help. Compassion and pity is not the same thing. Feeling sorry for someone is not feeling compassion. Compassion is putting to action what we feel.
Many of the people in the crowds that were listening to Jesus were Teachers of the Law and Pharisees, and I wonder what their response was to what all was going on. I wonder why they came and gathered to hear Jesus teach. Was it so they could find reason to trap him? Was it because they had heard that Jesus was a powerful teacher and wanted to hear what was going on? Was it because they wanted to sit at the feet of a great teacher? Was it so they could rub elbows with the other spiritual elites of the crowd? Most of the time is Scripture when we encounter the Teachers of the Law they are so concerned with themselves they never look outward.