Friends Can Help!
Have you ever seen a Star Wars movie? Star Wars is a story about good defeating evil, and it takes place in another galaxy! (A galaxy is a place far, far away, with its own planets, suns, moons, and stars.) If you've ever seen a Star Wars movie, you know that our heroes must work together to face challenges, dangers, and enemies on their quest to save the galaxy from evil forces.
In one scene, Rey, Finn, BB-8, Han Solo, and Chewbacca must escape a dangerous group of people, but their ship The Millennium Falcon is malfunctioning! Let's see how they escape.
INSTRUCTIONS: Play this clip of Rey bypassing the compressor on the Millennium Falcon.
Chewie was injured, Finn was trying to help, Han was piloting the ship, Rey was trying to fix it, and BB-8 — well, BB-8 didn't really do much except beep. But that's okay! Because they made it! Just like it took a whole team to get your balloons to their targets or to make it through that asteroid belt, and it took a whole team to help our friends from Star Wars escape from danger, today we're talking about how we need a team around us in real life too.
Being a follower of Jesus can be tough. We can face hardship and trials and doubt. That’s why it is really important that we build a team around us who can help us to grow!
There’s actually a story in the Bible about a man who had a spectacular group of friends! Their names weren’t Chewie or BB-8, but they helped him reach Jesus, which is the best thing that friends can do!
It comes in the story of Mark.
Jesus is on his way home. He had been travelling all around the country, preaching, teaching, and healing, and he had developed quite a following.
He had finally made it back to his hometown and he entered a house there. Suddenly, word began to spread about where Jesus was and a great crowd began to gather outisde of the house. There were so many people crammed there that Jesus couldn’t even step outside of the door.
So he began to preach to them from the doorstep.
In the distance there were four men who were carrying a man who could not walk. The man was paralyzed and they wanted to get him to Jesus with the hope that he might heal their friend.
But they had a problem: The crowd was so dense and there were so many people that they couldn’t make it through!
So they went to a stair case on the side of the house and got up on the roof of the house Jesus was standing in and they made a hole in the roof above Jesus. Back then, roofs were made of mud and straw. They then tied ropes to a mat and laid their friend on it and lowered him to Jesus’s feet.
When Jesus saw what they were doing, he said, “Wow! You guys have great faith!” Then he looked to the paralysed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven. Take your mat and go home.”
Suddenly, the man got up! He took his mat and walked away while everyone watched in amazement.
That guy had some amazing friends! If it wasn’t for his friends, he would have never been able to make it to Jesus and would have never been able to be healed.
This story in the Bible shows us that friends are so important when it comes to following God! It’s very important that we surround ourselves with good friends, because good friends help us grow!
But the opposite is also true. We can have friends that don’t help us get closer to God, but will actually pull us away from him!
What do we do with friends like that? We love them, we show grace to the, but we don’t allow them to dictate our lives.
Instead, we should look for friends who love Jesus. Who want to bring us closer to Him!
And guess what…it’s also our job to be the type of friends who bring our friends closer to Jesus.
You may never need to dig a hole in a roof and throw one of your friends through it, but what are some other ways we can help our friends get closer to Jesus?
Pray for them. Encourage them when they're sad. Tell them about Jesus. Invite them to church. Do kind things for them.
Our challenge this week should be to look for our friends that look like the friends of the paralytic. But also, try to be that kind of friend for others!