Summary: A true friend is the one who stays and helps when everyone else leaves.

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True Friends Stop at Nothing

What a Friend we have in Jesus

Mark 2:1-12

Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

Mark 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

Mark 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Mark 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mark 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Mark 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

Mark 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

Mark 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

Mark 2:12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Our scripture from the Gospel of Mark tells us about a friend in need, a friend that is ill, sick unto death and how four of his friends that stopped at nothing to get him help.

This particular incident will set off a series of confrontations between Jesus and the religious leaders of the synagogue - controversies that will eventually lead to the death of Jesus on Calvary.

Now our scripture tells us that Jesus had finally come back to Capernaum. His popularity has now peaked. Crowds of people follow Him everywhere He goes, hanging on every word He speaks, watching every move He makes. They’ve come to hear Him preach, watch Him perform healings, maybe even to seek healing for themselves.

Among this mass of people, we are told about one man who is very ill. He is paralyzed and bedridden. We don’t know what caused his paralysis, but that doesn’t really matter. People in Jesus’ day didn’t know anything about the nervous system or the immune system of the body.

They believed that all illness came from one of two causes: you either had done something that angered God and your illness was God’s way of punishing you; or a demon or devil had possessed you, trying to take you away from God. That was it. The medical dictionary of that day was a very short book.

The Health Tips page would have simply read: “Don’t make God mad, stay away from demons and you will be all right.”

That had to be pretty discouraging, especially if you were the one who was sick. It must have pretty discouraging for relatives and friends of sick people too, don’t you think?

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