Summary: You are either helping someone get closer to Christ (4 friends that carried the paralytic) or hinder them from receiving a healing (like the crowd)
From an early age, I was told that there are two types of friends in this world. One that would make you a better person and the other that would drag you down.
When I was in junior high, I ran away from home. It was about a comment that my mom made on a Sunday afternoon that made me SO UPSET! As you all know by now from all the stories I share, when I’m upset, all reason, logic goes out the window. I don’t even know what my mother said EXACTLY but it was about my best friend. She gave me her reasons why she doesn’t want me to hang out with this person. I don’t know what reasons she gave me but I must have thought they were stupid, so I left the house, thinking I would never live here ever again. I blame it on my raging teenage hormones. So I leave the house and I’m walking for about 10 mins, my anger subsides and I’m thinking to myself, “what am I doing?” but I was scared to go back so I decide to go to my best friend’s house and spend the night. My mom must have thought that he was a bad influence but he was the only person in this universe (or so I thought) that understood me! I don’t have siblings, he was like my brother!
Two types of friends…1. Good friend (who makes you a better person) 2. Bad friend (who drags you down)
The Bible talks about this in the book of Proverbs.
1. Good friend: Proverbs 27:17 “iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”
2. Bad friend: Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray”
There’s an interesting story in Luke 5:17-26 that talks about good friends and bad friends.
Let’s turn to chapter 5 and read VS 17
So we see Jesus here in Capernaum, he came “home” (we assume that it was Peter’s house, since Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law in the previous chapter and stayed in the area) and his house was soon filled with guests. (more information on Mark 2)
There are 4 groups of people present
- His disciples (not all 12, Matthew was chosen soon after this miracle)
- Pharisees and teachers of the law from every village of Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem
- 4 men carrying a paralytic
Ellen White tells us that the paralytic thought that “if Jesus can heal the leper, he can heal me” but then he remembered that his disease was the result of a life of sin.
Unlike the leper, he was sick because of the choices that he made and he had to live with that guilt. He thought that Jesus would reject him and condemn him if he ever approached Him to be healed.
It wasn’t a physical healing that he desired, this man desired a spiritual healing, he needed a TRUE FORGIVENESS. He wanted Jesus to tell him that his past sins are forgiven so that he could be freed from this massive weight of guilt that he’s been carrying.
So he asks his friends to take him to this man that heals lepers…
As they were getting closer and closer, they notice that the house was PACKED.
People were inside, outside, around the windows, to hear this new teacher. So the friends try to carry this man on a stretcher to Jesus. Because it’s so packed there’s no way this huge stretcher would get anywhere. They tried but failed. Just imagine how disappointing it was for them. It was like the subway at rush hour, people packed against the doors, squeezed in everywhere, faces smooshed against the windows, nobody moving in or out.
It was impossible to get a man on a stretcher carried by four friends into the house. They laid him down for just a minute so that they could think. And one of them got the bright idea that they should crawl up on the roof break it open, and lower the paralytic down.
And imagine as they’re breaking the roof, what people inside the house must have felt?
Once he is lowered into the house, the paralytic says and does nothing. As far as we know, he doesn’t even ask to be healed. Not a word passes his lips. Instead, Mark tells us that when Jesus saw their faith, meaning the faith of the friends, he healed the paralytic.
In the story, we see two types of people.
1. The crowd
You are either the crowd that block others from meeting Jesus
You are one of the friends that carry the paralytic to meet Jesus
VS 17 “and the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick” Jesus was ready to heal someone that day and yet the crowd prevented him from doing so. 4 friends had to do something drastic.