Are you the friend in need or the friend indeed?

This is written from a lesson in children’s church this morning. I learn a lot on a kid’s level. Did I say that out loud? Anyway, I was able to play it out in front of my grandson during a visit to the grocery store.

In children’s church we learned about Jesus and the paralyzed man, Mark 2:1-12:

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man (www.biblegateway.com) NLT

2 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[a] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

Maybe you’re the friend in need, the one on the mat needing to see Jesus! Maybe you’re the one needing the miracle! Do you have friends who care enough about you to seek out Jesus for you? Do your circle of friends and family know who Jesus is and where to find him? Do you have people in your life willing to do whatever it takes to help you with your miracle?

Maybe you’re the friend indeed, the one carrying the mat to Jesus! Maybe you’re the one who knows who Jesus is and where to find him! Do you care enough about your friends to show them Jesus? Do you care enough about them to take them to find Him? Will you do whatever it takes to help them with their need for a miracle?

In the grocery store, I was the friend indeed. A teacher friend of mine was telling me about this being a hard year for her. She changed schools and had a lot of boys in her class and parents to deal with. She also has a husband and two little ones at home.

I know her well and she is an awesome teacher. I told her that as well as that God gives the hardest jobs to the people who He knows can handle it. If you’re a teacher, God purposed your

heart to take on the hardest cases. He knew that you would be able to handle (with His strength) His most precious little ones. If you’re a teacher and you love it, then you are where you are supposed to be. You are wonderfully and beautifully made to be where you are right now! On purpose, with a purpose, for His purpose!

I told her this and a great big smile came across her face! Her demeanor changed and she felt lifted. My grandson complained later that it took too long for me to talk to her. I told him that I was carrying the mat for her because she needed to see Jesus! She needed to know that she had friends who cared enough to carry her to Him and let her know how much He loves her. He understood.

Sometimes, I’m the friend indeed. But sometimes, I’m the friend in need. I know that I have friends who would take me to Jesus. I know that I have friends and family who would seek out Jesus and carry my mat! If they will do it for me, I need to do it for them.

Do you know Jesus? Do you know how to seek him out? If not, you can know him! Pray with me.

Dear Jesus, I accept you into my heart right now. I know you died on the cross for me because you loved me so much. I believe in you and I want you to live inside my heart and help me to love others and lead them to you. I will seek you out and carry their mat. Forgive me of my sins; I want to live for you! In Jesus name, Amen!

In the comments, please let me know if you have accepted Jesus into your heart! I will continue to pray for you and be the friend who carries your mat. Find a church in your area and get plugged into the service, bible study and volunteer areas. It will totally change your life!