Friends. What would we do without them? What would we do without their intercession on our behalf? I have two artificial knees. This does not put me in a small peer group. When I was younger when all of us women got together, what would we talk about? Childbirth. We would all tell our war stories of labor and delivery. Now that I am in my 60’s, we all talk about different war stories. What war story do I have? Total knee replacements. I have two. Having had a joint replaced is very common. I am a part of that large group. However, my story is much rarer. I have two knee joints that failed within 2 years. Everyone looks at me with curiosity, because they have “miracle knees.” I do not. I have failed knees. How does this relate? Total knee replacements are major surgery, but very common and quite routine. I did not think I needed too much divine intervention. I was wrong. I have had the first of my new knees fixed and am getting ready to fix the second knee. I was not so frivolous the second time around. I called everyone I knew to intercede on my behalf.
Luke 5:17-26 (CSB)
17 On one of those days, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord’s power to heal was in him. 18 Just then some men came, carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. 19 Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.
20 Seeing their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think to themselves: “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.”
25 Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe and said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
This is a very famous Bible story. We see the extraordinary effort of friends to make available healing to a paralyzed man. They break through the roof and lower their friend down before Jesus. They were confident in Jesus’ ability to make him walk again. We see Jesus respond. He heals the man. Well, He forgives the man’s sins, which upset the Pharisees greatly. He responds to the faith of the man’s friends.
Do we advocate for our friends with this kind of faith? Do we pray prayers of faith every time someone near to us is sick or in need of deliverance? Or, do we just shrug and commit them to “fate”. Being a Christian is a call to live out a vibrant faith. It is a call to be the hands and feet of Christ. It is a call to impact our world. But, how do we do this? Do we call forth our power and determination? No. Do we channel positive energy on their behalf? No. Do we think good thoughts for them? No. Do we leave each other to flounder? No. What do we do? We take their cares to God, in the name of Jesus for healing. We pray and fast for God’s intervention. We respond with help if God directs us to do so. We do not walk this life alone. We walk in the community of others.