Five Friends

Author: Emily Acker — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: October 20, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Five Friends

READ: MARK 2:1-12; LUKE 5:17-26; JOHN 15:12-15

I was reading through Mark 2 last night, and I was struck by all that a group of friends chose to do in order to bring one man to see Jesus. Mark 2:3-4 says four men carried a paralyzed man to Jesus. “Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” The Bible doesn’t tell us very much about these five men, but they seem like a group of friends, and it’s clear that one of them was unable to walk on his own. We don’t know how this man came to be paralyzed. Maybe the friends had been doing something together that they shouldn’t have been doing, and the one friend got hurt. We don’t know. What we do know is that the four who were able to walk chose to carry their friend and bring him to the place where Jesus was.

But the house was so crowded, they couldn’t get in. The friend group could have turned around and left. The four could have taken their paralyzed friend back home. Instead, they somehow got him up on the roof. That had to be a lot of work. Then, they made a way to fit him down through the roof and lower him to the floor of the house so that he could be seen by Jesus.

The friend group in Mark 2 was caring. They didn’t abandon their friend because he was unable to move like them and do everything they could do. And these friends had faith. Because of their faith, the one who couldn’t walk got to meet Jesus. Jesus not only forgave him, but He healed him too. The man who had been paralyzed was able to stand up and walk—and the book of Luke tells us that he “went home praising God” (Luke 5:25).

Jesus cares deeply about us; He will never abandon us (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:7). Once we know Jesus, He calls us His friends, and He also transforms our friendships to reflect His love. Like the friend group in Mark 2, we can help others come to Jesus. When life gets tough, we can remind each other that Jesus brought us close to Himself through His death and resurrection. And as we see and respond to each other’s needs, we remind each other that we are seen by God. • Emily Acker

• Do you have any friends who care about your needs and who want you to be close to Jesus? If so, how could you be intentional about spending time with them? If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you identify people in your life you could become good friends with.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)