One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:17-20
…When Jesus saw their faith, He said Man!!!!
This is the narrative of a man limited by his situation, circumstance, ability, confidence and hope. However he had one thing in his favor.
He had four friends who believed victory for him when he couldn’t even believe it for himself. He had friends who had an active, ingenuous, sacrificial faith that found a way out of no way. And they took their friend to the roof top, they cut away enough tiles in the roof, and then they positioned their paralyzed friend right in front of Jesus!
Next we see the excitement of our Lord when he exclaims MAN!! (DUDE!!) FRIEND!!! “Having seen your friend’s faith; your sins are forgiven” … forgiven in such a holistic fashion that you can now pick up your mat and walk!
There is a corner of a stretcher out there waiting for your heart to grab hold of today! Maybe it is a wayward child, a defeated spouse, a lonely neighbor, an under-appreciated pastor, a beleaguered stranger.
Find your mat and through faith in The Divine Christ, who calls each of us His friend, attend to someone with love, care and encouragement–because in this life, sooner or later in one form or another–it may be you on the stretcher … in need of some faithful friends.
Redeemed from the ash heap,