Four Faithful Friends

Mark 2:1-12

A man went to the doctor…

He said, “Doc, you gotta check my leg.
Something’s wrong. Just put your ear up to my
thigh, you’ll hear it!”

The doctor cautiously placed his ear to the
man’s thigh only to hear, “Gimme 20 bucks, I
really need 20 bucks.”

“I’ve never seen or heard anything like this
before, how long has this been going on.” The
doctor asked.

“That’s nothing Doc. put your ear to my knee.”
The doctor put his ear to the man’s knee and
heard it say “Man, I really need 10 bucks, just
lend me 10 bucks!!”

“Sir, I really don’t know what to tell you. I’ve
never seen anything like this.” The doctor was
dumbfounded.

“Wait Doc, that’s not it. There’s more, just put
your ear up to my ankle,
” the man urged him.

The doctor did as the man said and was blown
away to hear his ankle plead, “Please, I just
need 5 bucks. Lend me 5 bucks please if you
can.”

I have no idea what to tell you,
” the doctor said.
“There’s nothing about it in my books,
” he said as he frantically searched all his medical
reference books.

“I can make a well educated guess though.
Based on life and all my previous experience I
can tell you that your leg appears to be broke in
three places.”

Today we will look at another story of Faith from the
New Testament. This one comes from the Gospel of
Mark, the second chapter, the first 12 verses.
This is a story of 4 Faithful Friends

Mark 2:1-12

This story is set in Capernaum, which is where
Simon Peter is from. It is also the city that Jesus
used as His headquarters for His Galilean ministry.

Many people heard that Jesus was there so they
flocked to the house where He was staying so they
could hear Him teach. It was standing room only.
There was no room for anyone else to get in.

Mark describes a paralytic who was brought to the
place where Jesus was on a mat carried by 4 friends.
These 4 Faithful Friends acted on their faith.
They believed that Jesus could heal their friend.

They put their:
Faith in Action

Carried him to the house where Jesus was
Climbed to the roof with their friend – not easy!
○ Possible stairs, but maybe just a ladder
Clawed into the roof making a huge hole
Cautiously Lowered their friend down to Jesus
They didn’t give up – they could have turned around
when they saw the huge crowd at the house Jesus
was at.

Remember, faith is the assurance of things hoped for.
They hoped Jesus would heal him and believed that
He could and would do it.

Let’s think for a moment about how the homeowner
must have been feeling right then. Jesus is at your
house, which is at full capacity, teaching and sharing
the gospel. When all of the sudden you hear someone
climbing up the stairs to the rooftop.
Then you hear roof tiles hitting the ground outside.
Before long you notice tar, ashes and sand dropping
from the ceiling onto your guests heads.
Then, to your dismay, you see 4 strangers standing
over a hole the size of a bed lowering a man on a mat
into your house!
He’s probably wondering to himself,

‘Is insurance going to cover this?’

Now, let’s switch gears to consider the paralytic.
We don’t see a conversation between the friends and
the paralytic. He couldn’t walk, but he could most
likely see, hear and talk. It makes you wonder whose
idea it was to get the paralytic to Jesus, his or his
friends. We don’t know for sure but believe that he
also had faith that Jesus could heal him.
When the Bible says Jesus saw their faith, I think
Jesus saw the faith of 5 men that day.

Let’s talk a little bit more about that.
Jesus Saw their Faith

Faith is believing what you can’t see.
How could Jesus see what is unseen?
Jesus knows their heart.
He saw that they had faith that He could heal the
paralyzed man.
He could tell that they were sincere in their heart.
We only have actions and words to go on, but Jesus
can see deep into the heart of man!

Jesus Brought Complete Healing

The 4 Faithful Friends came to have their friend cured
but Jesus healed his soul before He healed his body.

In that day it was widely believed that sin caused
illnesses and suffering. Think of Job and how his
friends thought he was surely hiding some deep dark
sinful secret. Also, recall the story of the man born
blind. The disciples asked Jesus who sinned, the blind
man or his parents. Jesus responded neither, but so
that the work of God might be displayed in him.

This was not the case with this man.
The first thing Jesus said was, Son, your sins are
forgiven.
Jesus knew about the man’s sin and forgave him.

Forgiveness is the greatest miracle that Jesus
ever performs. It meets the greatest need; it
costs the greatest price; and it brings the
greatest blessing and the most lasting results

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 115). Wheaton, IL:
Victor Books.

Jesus showed that spiritual healing was more
important than physical healing by taking care of it
first. But because of His great love, He also took care
of the physical problem he had.

The Scribes Questioned Jesus’ Authority

Reasoned in their Hearts

The scribes were constantly doing anything they could
to try to catch Jesus doing or saying something that
contradicted the law or the laws they made to make
sure they didn’t break the actual law.
They scrutinized His every word.

When they heard Jesus tell the paralyzed man his sins
were forgiven, it made the scribes scratch their
heads. How could a mere man forgive sin, only God
has that power and authority.
But none of them spoke out loud, they just thought it
in their heads

Responded with Accusations

After reasoning they came to the conclusion that
Jesus must be blaspheming because only God can
forgive sin.

Jesus responded to their reasoning and accusations
with a question for them.
He asks, which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven
or get up, get your mat and go?

They all knew that there was no physical evidence of
someone being forgiven of their sin. But if someone
told a paralyzed man to walk and he didn’t get up and
walk, everyone would know he was a fraud.
Jesus knew what the scribes were thinking
Jesus told them He was doing this so they would
know the Son of Man had authority on earth to forgive
sin. People had already seen him perform miracles.
He had healed Simon’s mother-in-law and cured a
man with leprosy.

Jesus Displayed His Authority

Now, He is allowing people to see that Jesus is one
with God. He has the power to heal both body and
soul. He is not pretending, not a blasphemer.
He is God in the flesh!

Jesus told the man to get up and take his mat and go
home. The man immediately got up and took his mat
and everyone there saw what happened.

The response was just like you might have thought
Everyone was amazed and were giving glory to God.

That’s exactly what we ought to do when we see God
do something amazing. Praise Him and give Him the
glory.

APPLICATION

As we think about how to apply this Scripture to our
lives, we should consider who our friends are.
What kind of friends do we surround ourselves with?
Do we spend time with people who are willing to bring
us to Jesus?
When you tell them what is going on in your life, do
they point you to the Father or do they tell you what
you want to hear?

We’ve all had good friends over the years as well as
bad ones.
It’s ok to spend less time with people who don’t draw
you closer to God.
We should be
Surrounded by a few faithful friends.

The second point of application is this…
What kind of Friend are we?
Jesus was a friend to sinners and the least of these.
We don’t bring glory to God by being judgmental
towards others and excluding them for whatever
reason.

We should care enough about our friends to be willing
to bring them to Jesus. Even if we have to carry them
and even if it takes a long time to get there.

Be a Faithful Friend
Be willing to speak the truth even when the truth
hurts.
Be willing to help a wayward friend find his/her way
back on the right path.