When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
Who do you call on when you're in serious trouble or facing a crisis? Who can you count on for help, for honest advice, for encouragement? I hope you have some good friends who are always there for you.
True friendship seems to be a rare gift these days. Many people have made themselves too busy to truly invest the time and energy it takes to develop significant relationships. Often people say to each other, "We'll have to get together soon"--but it seldom happens.
The paralyzed man in our story for today was confined to a mat. He couldn't even move himself around, but he had some friends who were willing to go out of their way to help. They took him to Jesus, believing that Jesus could heal him. And when the crowd blocked their way, they took some drastic measures to make sure their friend could meet Jesus.
When Jesus sees the faith of these friends, he loves what he sees. He sees faith in action. He sees love that is not held back by barriers. He sees people caring and determined enough to get their friend to him.
Jesus also knows that this man needs more than healing in his body; he has a heart that needs to be made right with God. Do we care enough to go out of our way to try to connect our friends with Jesus so that they can be made right with God?
Lord, fill our hearts with compassion and love that's willing to be inconvenienced by the needs of friends and acquaintances. Help us introduce them to you. In your name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!