Faithful Friends (Luke 5:17-26)
A young boy, came into a Christian bookshop. His head barely reached just above the counter. He asked the clerk, “Sir, How much are your Bibles?” The man pulled his cheapest Bible off the shelf, one with children’s pictures, and said $1.00. But the boy didn’t have enough money. The boy said. “Hang on, I’ve got more money in my sock,” He sat down on the floor, pulled off a shoe and a long sock. The clerk asked, “You don’t have a Bible Son?” The boy responded, “The Bible’s not for me; it’s for my friend. I want him to know Jesus like I do.” The clerk said “You can have the Bible.” As the boy walked out the door with the Bible, he stopped, turned and said with a big smile, “It’s a good book, ain’t it mister?” By seeking to bring his friend to Jesus, that boy was being the best kind of friend in this world.
Their names are not given, their occupation is not mentioned, nor are their ages listed. The Scriptures only records one thing that they did. But the one thing which these men did is the most important work ever performed by men: these men brought a helpless man to the Lord. “It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands” - Arthur H. Stainback.
The outward success of Jesus’ great Galilean ministry aroused the jealousy of these religious leaders and they, from this time forth, came from far and near to spy on Him, accuse Him, and turn the multitudes from Him. Those onlookers had seen deity manifested to them in such a convincing way. These four friends knew the Lord. They had true faith in Christ. They believed Him to be the Messiah. They recognized His power and authority as the sovereign Lord, the Son of God. They knew that He had power both to heal disease and to forgive sin. These men had a friend who desperately needed Christ. Their friend was a hopelessly, helplessly paralyzed man. They could not heal their friend or forgive his sin. Knowing Christ’s power and grace and knowing their friend’s desperate need, these men determined to bring their friend to Christ. It was not an easy thing to do. The room was packed with people, standing room only. In fact, there was no room through the front door. No one offered to assist them nor even to make room for them, but they were not deterred. They never gave up on their friend. They found a way to bring him in and to lay him before Jesus. At last they got their friend before the Lord. They said nothing; they simply laid the helpless man before Christ. And as a direct result of their labors and faith toward Christ, two marvelous things happened: a sinner was freely forgiven of all his sins and the Lord God was glorified. These men had been voluntary instruments in the hands of the Lord, and God used them to accomplish his eternal purpose!
Early Christians "turned the world upside down" as they shared Jesus Christ with others. They were interested in the souls of men that needed to be saved. I want to be like these men, diligently laboring to bring sinners to Christ, faithfully giving myself to the great commission, allowing nothing to stand in my way. We cannot save men, but we can do our part and get others under the sound of the Gospel.
It's far more important that I care about people than plans. The cause of Christ ought to be at the top of our priority lists. We should always be mindful of how we can be used to lead others to Christ. You may be in a hurry as you're reading this today; but in your haste, don't neglect opportunities to let your light shine for Christ. Be available to lend an ear or a hand and you'll be amazed at how God will use you.
What happens concerning conviction and repentance is between the sinner and the Saviour. Our responsibility as ambassadors for Christ is to get them to the Saviour. The only way to heaven is by Christ. The Gospel comes from God. It brings us to God. We find four men, co-laborers, working together as a team effort to get this one man to Jesus. I Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” It’s great when several people work together in bringing someone to the Lord. That is often the case. It almost always takes more than one. We are not to get jealous over who gets the credit. The main thing is getting the person to Jesus. What a person chooses to do with their decision with Christ is their choice.
The friends of the paralyzed man had strong faith that Jesus could heal him, as seen by their determination to bring him to Jesus. We, too, must show the confidence that Christ can meet the needs of those we know by using every opportunity to introduce them to Jesus. If we truly desire to bring others to Christ, God’s Spirit will provide many opportunities to do so.
A Suggested Outline: (Luke 5:17-26)
Points to Ponder:
Palsy paralyzes the body, sin paralyzes the soul.
These men were willing to make sacrifices to help the paralyzed man.
They were willing to get involved in his life to help him.
Our responsibility as ambassadors for Christ is to get them to the Saviour.
Questions to Consider:
Are we as determined to bring our spiritually-paralyzed friends before Jesus?
Is there an expectation in your life you want to see fulfilled?
What are the obstacles we face today that hinder us from getting close to the Lord?
What keeps us from seeing our expectations fulfilled?
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for saving my soul and for Your gift of eternal life. You used a friend and a co-worker who lead me to You. Help kindle a fire within me and inspire me to zealously give myself to the business of bringing sinners to Christ. Help me to have that same passion for others in Jesus name, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.