Daily Lesson for Sunday 19th of November 2023
A powerful story in the Gospels reveals what some men went through in order to bring a needy person, probably a friend, to Jesus. We can learn from what happened here about the hard work it might sometimes take to minister to those in need.
Read Luke 5:17-26 (see also Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:3-12). What are some of the lessons we can take from this story about mission and ministry?
By bringing their friend to Jesus, these men took on the responsibility to care for him. God is calling us to be like this man’s friends—to lead the needy to Jesus Christ. This work requires faith, action, patience, and a willingness, if need be, to be unconventional. The men came to Jesus but encountered barriers. They could not bring their helpless friend to Jesus through traditional means. They did not give up; instead they found an innovative way of getting the man to Jesus Christ. Dropping their friend down from the roof! Yet, according to Luke, Jesus approved of what they did (see Luke 5:20).
Jesus’ desire is for us to bring our helpless friends to Him. The Bible refers to Jesus as the Great Physician who longs to forgive and heal those who are suffering, whoever they are.
Ellen G. White challenges us to help the helpless: “Do not wait to be told your duty. Open your eyes and see who are around you; make yourselves acquainted with the helpless, afflicted, and needy. Hide not yourselves from them, and seek not to shut out their needs. Who gives the proofs mentioned in James, of possessing pure religion, untainted with selfishness or corruption? Who are anxious to do all in their power to aid in the great plan of salvation?”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 29.
Jesus Himself demonstrates how to help the helpless and is calling us to do the same. First, we become their friends; then we learn about their needs; and finally, we lead them to Jesus, who is the only One who can help them. This is what the men in this story did; we need to do likewise in whatever situation we find ourselves. Help lead people to the only One who can save them: Jesus.
Who around you, right now, needs some help? What are you going to do for them?