Friendship and Faith
Chaplain Deron McDaniel, M.Div
Princeton Baptist Medical Center
“When Jesus saw their faith…..” (Mark 2:5)
There is something special and significant about friendship and faith. Many of us share close relationships with people we consider to be dear friends. Every relationship, whether friendship, kinship or of some other kind will be at times be tested by trials and sickness. It’s during those times of trials and sickness that faith becomes an incredible gift.
Mark 2 tells a story of a man who was paralyzed, disabled and helpless. He would be hopeless if not for the four nameless men who carry him through the streets of Capernaum to the house where Jesus was preaching. Their motivation seems to come from their desire to see paralyzed man’s better. They desperately want to get him the help he needs. I really like these 4 men who are friends indeed of the paralyzed man.
They exhibit three qualities that I really appreciate and value. First, they were passionate. They paid attention to the needs of the paralyzed man and they did something about it. They moved together to help him. Second, they were persistent. When the four men got to the house where Jesus was, they were met by an impenetrable crowd. But they were determined to get him to Jesus to be helped so they carry their friend up the outside stairs to the roof; they tear open the roof and lower the man down before Jesus. Finally, they were perceptive. When Jesus took noticed of what was done for the paralyzed man, verse 5a says that “Jesus saw their faith” and he responded to the man’s needs. The four men not only got the man to Jesus so he could be helped, but they truly believe that Jesus could help him. They believe that their friend could get better. I believe that could actually see it before it happen. That’s faith!
What a powerful display of friendship and faith. When we’re sick and in need, feeling helpless and hopeless, a friend can go a long way in helping us through those times by having the faith that we may be lacking. Not only do I recognize the need for this kind of friendship, I want to be this kind of friend. The paralyzed man was fortunate to have such friends. I hope for all of you to be able to offer and received the incredible blessing of friendship and faith.
Prayer: Kind and Gracious God, thank you for the gift of friendship and faith. In times of trials and sickness, may we have enough faith to see and help our friends and may we also be recipients of the same in our times of need. Amen.