The Importance of Teammates
By Mark Long
"And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." -- Matthew 9:2
Sports emphasizes and relies on the importance of team and teammates. The phrase there’s no “I” in team stands true. Teamwork involves thinking of others, not just oneself. Truly effective teams are united by the same vision and motivated to bring that vision to life.
In His active ministry, Jesus spent much time in Capernaum telling parables, teaching about God’s Kingdom and healing the sick. He often performed miracles of healing the sick only to share the more important message of salvation. Jesus would sometimes first meet their physical need so He could get their attention, then He would introduce their greater spiritual need for salvation.
When some friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed, His first words were, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then Jesus healed him, and the man got up and walked. While God gave Jesus the power to heal the paralytic, it was His power to forgive sin that was the greater need. Jesus saw the spiritual sickness in the paralytic man as more important and He addressed that first. Spiritual health and healing only come from the touch of Jesus in our lives.
How often has God placed something in your life to remind you of your spiritual need and dependence on Him? It could be a physical or emotional pain, a loss, a major setback or an incredible challenge standing before you. He’s using those to get your attention and draw you to Himself. He wants us to focus on Him, not our problem. He is our solution and salvation.
Another important lesson in this real-life story is the faith of the friends of the paralytic, also recorded in Luke 5. They knew they needed to bring their friend to Jesus to be healed and hear His message of salvation. They went to great lengths to bring him to Jesus. They couldn’t reach Him because of the crowds, so they climbed up on the roof, dug out an opening and lowered their friend through it.
Luke 5:20 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’”
Did you catch that? Because of the faith of his friends (teammates), this man was healed and became a Christ-follower! Verse 25 says the paralyzed man went home healed and praised God.
In these days of uncertainty, confusion and darkness, will you step out and bring a friend to Jesus, so they can experience His touch, healing and forgiveness? Will you go to great lengths and even some sacrifice, as these men did, to join God at His work? This is pursuing God’s mission!
- Are you facing adversity or a setback in your life and is God using it to get your attention, to draw you closer to Him?
- Is there someone on your team or in your life that needs Jesus’s healing touch and that needs to hear the message of salvation?
- Pray that God would reveal to you who that friend or teammate is, then, step out in faith and boldly take them to Jesus.
John 15:13; Proverbs 17:17; Philippians 2:3; Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“Father, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal to me teammates, friends and others You place in my path that need the healing touch of Jesus Christ. Today, let me step out in daring faith and boldly bring them to You, even if it requires interrupting my schedule and self-sacrifice.”