As men, too many of us have an issue depending on others, myself included. We allow ourselves to become full of pride and ego. At times, we even allow ourselves to get our faith involved. “I have God. My strength comes from Jesus. He will meet my needs if it is His will for me.”
Ok, I get it. There’s just a tad bit of truth in that. That being said, I don’t think that’s exactly how Jesus would have us be. As Christian men, we need the strength of others, specifically from other Christian men. I think this is borderline starting to sound almost too Sunday schoolish. Let me be a little more specific.
Strength of others
When I say we need the strength of other Christian men in our lives, I don’t mean to look for your buddy and sit with him and his family on Sunday morning at church. I’m not saying when you show up at your men’s Bible study once a week you need to discuss with your prayer warrior buddy who the two of you think will win the game this weekend. There’s no faith involved in that. Maybe an amount of faith in your team, but none in Jesus.
As Christian men who are supposed to be setting an example for the next generation, regardless if we’re their parents or not, we need to be demonstrating our need for like-minded men in our daily lives. We have to show both each other and the next generation of men what it means to be authentic.
Regardless of the situations or circumstances, we’re facing in life, we need a couple of friends who will do whatever it takes to bring us closer to Jesus, even if it’s just for five minutes. Let me ask you a question and it only works if you’re honest. You don’t need to run off to the comment section or send me an email, you can keep the answer to yourself.
When’s the last time you saw grown men stopping to pray for another outside of church or a Bible study? When’s the last time you saw a group of men reading God’s Word together in public, not caring what others thought or if someone was being offended? Maybe the question I really need to be asking, when’s the last time another man saw you doing this?
Mark 2:1-5: Friends of the paralyzed man
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
I think we get so caught up in the miracle that we overlook what is actually going on here. In case you need to hear it, this is the Bible. These are real-life events that took place. This isn’t just some night time story you read your child before bed to put them to sleep. This really happened.
These four people knew their friend’s situation. They also knew that if they could just get him closer to Jesus, just for five minutes, everything about this man’s life could be drastically different. If you go on to read the next few verses, you learn that scribes were sitting there listening to Jesus. This wasn’t just an outdoor picnic at the park. This was at someone’s home. Religious people were there. That means people went out of their way to be looking good. These people would have had their best robes and sandals on.
Still, the four people carrying their friend didn’t care who saw them. They didn’t care who the offended or upset. The consequences didn’t matter. They were willing to do whatever they had to do for their friend to get closer to Jesus. They dug a hole in the roof of this house.
Let that sink in for a minute. No, it wasn’t drywall and shingles. But think of the dirt and soot that would have been falling down on everyone. Remember, there were so many people there, they couldn’t even get close to the door. There wasn’t exactly room to move out of the way to avoid parts of this roof that came crashing down to the ground.
The details of the building material and the mess that was made isn’t what is important. What matters is these people did whatever needed to be done to get their friend to Jesus. Once He saw these things happening, Jesus says the faith of these people, not the paralytic, healed the man. It wasn’t the faith of the man who needed a miracle to be able to walk. It was the faith of the four men destroying the roof of this house to lower the mat in front of Jesus.
When is the last time you depended on the faith of other Christian men to put you in front of Jesus so you could receive a miracle? Again, the more important question. When’s the last time you were one of the four people someone was depending on?
Jeffrey has a degree in theology from Aidan University and is the founder of Gospel Grammar in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. His goal is to inspire others to seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.