Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:4-5
An elderly woman lived alone. She was no different than hundreds of thousands of other older women and men who live alone. Disabled, she had to rely on the assistance and aid of her neighbors. That, too, does not make her unique. What was special about her is that she, even with her limited life, kept a daily diary. If you had known her you might have wondered, “Why bother? There wasn’t that much to record.”
Until the day the Lord took her home, this woman faithfully wrote down the events of her life. The police report said she had been dead “for a while” before someone missed her or found her. They said there was no evidence of foul play; she had died of natural causes. They said her diary held nothing of interest for the police or coroner. You, however, might find what she wrote interesting. Through the last weeks of her life, she had repeatedly written the same three words: “Nobody came today.”
Can you think of anything more tragic? Thankfully, it’s not that way for everyone. For example, the invalid in the Scripture reading listed above was blessed to have friends who loved him and took care of him. They made a commitment to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. Undaunted by the impasse of the large crowd, they did what was necessary to place the paralyzed man before the Savior. They had faith that Jesus would be able to help their friend in his need.
Good friends can be a great blessing and joy. But as much as earthly friends may care and love, they are still bound by the confines of human limitations. There is no earthly friend who can do the things Jesus does. The friends of the paralyzed man could only bring him to Jesus. After that it was up to the all-powerful Son of God to effect a cure. By forgiving the man’s sins and healing his body, Jesus showed to the paralytic that He was a most valuable friend, indeed. Of course, those who really know Jesus, realize He is far more than a friend; He is a Savior whose life and death grant forgiveness to our souls and peace for our hearts.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on February 23, 2003
THE PRAYER: Dear God, I know I have a friend in Jesus. Thank you for sacrificing Him to save me! Thank you also for my earthly friends, and help me to share with them the good news of Your friendship and forgiveness. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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