What about you? Are you a good friend?
What does the story of the Four Friends and Jesus have to do with your child? The fact that they can be just like these friends by taking their hurting friends to Jesus, that Jesus is just as real today as he was in this story, and that Jesus saves and heals.
Enjoy spending time with your family reading this great story of friendship and faith. You will have plenty of opportunities to discuss the questions on each page as you turn to this book again and again, so pass over them at first. Start by enjoying the story, your time together, and the questions your child asks as you share the story together. The more you read this book and discuss friendships, hurts, illnesses, handicaps, and needs, the more you realize just how many issues that our kids face today relate to the lessons in this great story. As with all the books in The Bible and Me series, I try to give four life lessons as a guide for parents to discuss. It was tough to pick just four with this story, so be prepared that your family will likely dive into many more discussions – what a great way to strengthen your family and your faith!
JESUS, THE FOUR FRIENDS AND ME
Jesus saves and heals.
In this story, Jesus reputation as a healer draws many people to come to Him. When the friend was lowered through the roof, Jesus saw him and knew him. Jesus knows everything there is to know about this man, He knows why he is paralyzed, how long he has been paralyzed, how him being paralyzed affects his friends, and more! And the first thing Jesus did was to forgive his sins. Then he healed his body. Jesus knows that saving our soul is more important than fixing our bodies. Our bodies are temporary our souls are eternal.
We can take our friends to Jesus.
This story has a paralyzed man whose friends are so in tune with him that when they hear Jesus is coming, they put him first. They could have run to Jesus with their own concerns, but instead they immediately thought of their friend. They put his needs above their own. We strive to be the same kind of friend as these four men. That is very tough when you are a kid, your friends tend to change based on who is on your soccer/cheer/gym/football team, who is in your class this year, who lives on your street, who is in your Sunday or Wednesday group at church rather than being based on years of history together as with adult friendships. As a parent, you can model this type of friendship for your kids in the way you treat your friends.
Who really needs healing?
In this story, the paralyzed man needed physical healing. Does that mean that everyone who is different or has a disability needs healing? Very tough question! We would all want our friends that deal with a disability to no longer have to deal with the difficulties. Jesus looked at the paralyzed man and healed his soul first. He was much less concerned with the physical healing that the four friends were worried about. There are many people in the world that need healing in their soul, and Jesus teaches us that this is the most important healing. Spotting a physical need is easier than spotting a soul need. How can we open our eyes, ears, and hearts to recognize when our friends need Jesus to help heal their soul? Remember to bring your friends who have a broken spirit to Jesus as well as our friends who are sick, hurt or disabled.
We can go to Jesus
This great story tells us how four friends took their friend to Jesus. We want to be the type of friend who also takes our friends to Jesus for help, healing, and saving. But we also must remember that we need to do the same for ourselves. There are many, many distractions for both kids and adults that can pull us away from Jesus rather than bringing us closer to Him. Don’t forget in all your prayers for others that you need to let Jesus know what is going on in your life as well. Take the time in your family to develop a relationship with Jesus – it doesn’t just happen, you will have to make an effort much like these friends made the effort to take their friend to Jesus. Make sure as a family that you read about Jesus, think about those readings and what it tells you about Him, talk to Jesus, listen for His voice, and in turn you will love Him and your faith and trust in Him will carry you through whatever life may throw your way.