Have you ever seen one or more of those sentimental online pieces about the different types of friends every woman (or man) needs? I have always loved the one about the friends who know when to come in and carry you out to save you from making a fool of yourself. I don’t know about you, but I need friends like that. The paralytic man in Mark 2 also needed radical friends--the ones who will stage an intervention to either save your life or save you from yourself. The news had spread that Jesus was in town and a large crowd thronged around him, but the paralytic’s four friends did not let that deter them from accomplishing their mission. When they realized that they might be carrying their friend back home in his current condition, they became desperate. They had to find another way to get their friend to Him of whom Luke proclaimed, “And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus” (Luke 5: 17). While Luke’s account says that the friends took off some tiles from the roof, Mark’s version describes how they dug a hole through the roof above Jesus’ head. This allowed the men to lower their friend right into Jesus’ presence. Mark 2:5 states that “Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’”
There comes a moment or two in all our lives when we cannot go it alone and these desperate times demand desperate moves. We don’t know how long the paralytic had longed to get to Jesus. We also don’t know what conversations transpired between him and his friends that day. But what is apparent is that he had friends who did not give up on him. Where the strength of their friend failed him, they became his strength. Jesus noticed what the four men had done and was moved to act on the faith they had displayed on behalf of their friend.
This is the point where we may want to start taking mental stock of our friendships (Do I have friends who would go the extra mile for me? Do I have friends who will be my voice when I can't speak?). But before we go assessing what type of friends we have, how about we begin by asking, “Am I a roof-raising kind of friend?” We should aspire to the kind of friends we want- friends who will contend for our breakthrough on our behalf.