We Are Better Together

I’m thinking about friends and faith and the extraordinary things that can happen when those come together. We really are better together.

This story about friendship is told in three of the Gospels….Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In my opinion, the one in Luke is the better story. It’s found in Luke 5:17-26 and begins with “on one of those days” and ends with “we have seen extraordinary things today.” A lot happens between those two phrases with the religious people and Jesus’ authority, but I want to focus on the man and his friends.

The man couldn’t walk and he had friends. Good friends. The kind that lived like it matters, showed up, and helped their friend. They carried the man on his mat through the streets to the home where a crowd gathered to hear Jesus teach. The doorway was blocked because of the crowd, so the men carried their friend up to the roof and lowered him down in front of Jesus.

“And when Jesus saw their faith…..”

Jesus didn’t ask a question and the men didn’t speak to Jesus.

Jesus saw their faith.

Probably

When I think about their faith, I can’t help but think it was like ours is sometimes. Tired and wobbly one minute; strong and brave the next.

Did the faith of the friends carrying the mat waver when the crowd was too thick to get him through the door? Did their faith grow weary during the long haul through the streets and up to the roof? Did they think the whole thing was crazy and wonder if it was even worth it? Did they want to give up?

Probably. This is one reason we are better together. When this friend’s faith wavered, that friend’s didn’t. When three of them wanted to turn around and wait until the crowd was gone, the other one was determined. Two of them cheered them on, when the other two thought they were too exhausted to go on. When one of them wanted to give up on it all, the other ones patiently reminded him of their paralyzed friend’s need. And let’s not forget about the faith of the man on the mat. It took a lot of guts and even more trust to let his friends carry him around on his mat, then lower him through a roof.

Worth It

And every step was worth it when Jesus spoke to the man. Jesus met the man’s deepest soul need and made him walk again.  

Jesus saw their faith. Certainly not perfect faith, maybe not great faith, but a stronger faith because they were together. The faith that made them do the hard work of helping their friend. The faith to keep going, one hard step after another.

The people were filled with awe and said, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

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1 Comments

  1. Bruce Martin on March 20, 2024 at 9:09 am

    Two are better than one because they will have a greater return for their work. And a cord of three strands is not easily broken!

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