by Phil Ware
The parents of a little boy were deeply moved by the love of their son for his sister. They also felt more than a little guilty for not doing a better job explaining everything to their little guy before he was to give blood for his sister. However, after giving blood for his sister so she could have a delicate surgery to save her life, their son lay trembling on the bed after giving his blood. When they brought him some orange juice and cookies, they asked him what was wrong. He replied, "Will I die right away or will it take a while?" Only then did they realize that he thought he was giving his blood, and his life, so his sister could live.
What would you risk to save a friend?
- A kidney?
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:13).
What's your friendship limit? What would you not do to save the life of a true friend?
Early in Jesus' ministry, he was in Capernaum. People flocked to hear him so that there was no room in the house where he was staying. In fact, there wasn't even any room outside the door (Mark 2:1-2). However, four men had a friend who was paralyzed. Their friend needed Jesus' healing power to be liberated from his paralysis. But there appeared to be no way to get the man to Jesus. What would they do?
They were willing to risk personal embarrassment, financial repercussions, the rebuke of Jesus and the anger of the homeowner to get their sick friend to Jesus. They went up on the roof of the house and dug a hole through it. The opening was no little hole. It was large enough to lower their sick friend through the hole and get him to Jesus in the crowded house (Mark 2:3-4).
As they lowered their friend through the hole in the roof as dust and loose bits of straw danced in the air, the Lord saw their faith. In this dramatic moment of grace, Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins (Mark 2:5), then healed the man of his paralysis (Mark 2:6-11). As the newly healed man picked up his mat and headed home, Jesus' actions and the courage of the four friends left everyone amazed (Mark 2:12). We have no idea how the homeowner patched the roof. This problem was forgotten in the wonder of Jesus' grace and power.
I can't help but wonder why we find it so hard to talk to bring our friends to Jesus? I know we don't want to offend or lose our friends by talking about Jesus. We don't want to be offensive or pushy or judgmental. However, if they needed something that demanded a sacrifice of us, most of us would be willing to risk many things to save their physical life. Why is it so hard for us to talk about spiritual matters?
What would you be willing to sacrifice to save the eternal life of a friend?
Let's listen to the words and know the stories of our friends. Let's listen to the cries of the hearts behind the words. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to help us know what to do, what to say, and when to act to share our Savior's love. Let's do whatever it takes to bring our friends to Jesus. We don't have to convince them about our church, our religion, or our values. Let's bring them to Jesus... no matter the risk and no matter what the crowd might think.
Let's be willing to do whatever it takes — even if it means digging a hole in the roof — to get our friends to Jesus.