Friends

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 2:1-12

They came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. (v. 3)

A number of years ago, Simon and Garfunkel released a song titled “I Am a Rock.” Recently I heard that song performed at a concert by a tribute group called Old Friends. It was a great hit back in the day, but I marveled at how people still know it today. The whole audience joined in singing some of the familiar lines: I have no need of friendship / Friendship causes pain / It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain. It ends with the words: And a rock feels no pain / And an island never cries.

I must admit, I got caught up in the moment and began singing, too. But then all of a sudden it hit me—these words aren’t very inspiring! Yet everyone sang them with such enthusiasm. The lyrics speak of someone who is completely on his own—doesn’t need anybody, doesn’t want anybody—a completely isolated individual. It’s as if the singers are saying, “Don’t bother me! Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.”

Fortunately the paralyzed man in our story today had friends. They cared for their friend. They wanted him to be healed. So they brought him to Jesus. Sometimes that is the best thing we can do as a friend. And when we do that, we find that we are welcomed by the best of friends—our Lord Jesus himself. —John Koedyker

Prayer: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!”