Devotional Scripture: Matthew 9:2
Central Thought: A true friend knows how to hold the rope for others.
Matthew 9:2 presents the moment, as told by Mark and Luke, when the paralytic's friends created a hole in the roof and lowered their friend into the crowded room where Jesus was preaching. Two things stand out about the paralytic's friends. First, their effort was extraordinary. We do not know how far they carried the man to this house, but we can imagine the painstaking effort they made merely to help the man reach it.
Second, we must notice their persistence in faith. Undeterred by a crowd so great that no one could find room in the house, the friends became creative. They carried their friend up to the roof, made a hole in the roof, and lowered him into the house where Jesus could see him.
Although none of the accounts tell us how they lowered the man into the room, it is easy to assume that some type of rope was used. Matthew tells us that Jesus noticed the rope holders' persistence (Matthew 9:2). Their faith led to their friend's healing. Because of the man's condition, he would have been physically unable to find audience with Jesus on this day. His friends—his rope holders—made it possible. Another thing we do not know about this story is whose idea it was. It could have been the man's, or it could have been his friends'. Either way, his friends demonstrated the power of being rope holders.
Today, many find themselves in such a weakened spiritual condition that they need someone to help take their needs to Jesus. And many of those have needs that go unexpressed. Ask God to help you be sensitive to the needs of others. And ask Him to help you be a rope holder.
Devotional Prayer: Father, help me to be sensitive to the needs of others, and help me to be a rope holder for others.
Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalms 10:16-18; Proverbs 3:9-10