Learning How to Love Those in Need

By September 28, 2020Blog

In Mark 2, Jesus is preaching God’s word in a house, and there are so many people there that no one else could even get close to the door to get inside.

Mark 2:3-4 says, “four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.”

Was Jesus mad at the scene they must have caused? Was he upset that they made a mess and ruined someone’s roof? No. Jesus saw their faith. Jesus appreciates and commands this type of sacrificial love from us.

John 15:12-13 says, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I used to read that passage and think Jesus was only referring to dying for someone you love. After all, that’s one of the biggest ways Jesus has shown us love. But I don’t think “laying down one’s life for one’s friends” only refers to laying down your life and dying in someone’s place as Jesus did. I think laying down our lives for our friends means that we lay down our preferences, comfort, pride, and our self-made plans for the good of others. It means that our default should always be a posture of love and service to others.

This is exactly the type of love the friends of the paralyzed man showed in Mark 2. I can’t imagine that it was easy for them to carry their friend on the mat, get all the way up on the roof, dig a hole in the roof, and lower him down to Jesus. But that’s what they did. They were motivated by love to get their friend where he needed to be in order to be healed.

They could have walked away. They could have avoided the hard.

Sometimes, it just feels easier to avoid the mess of foster care. It feels more comfortable not to pursue communication with biological parents. It feels easier to keep everyone else on the team at an arm’s length. It feels easier not to jump into the grief with a foster parent friend that is struggling.

But we see that these friends dug a hole in a roof because they were convinced of what this paralyzed man needed: Jesus. They knew getting to Jesus would be hard, and they pursued sacrificial love anyway.

We can pursue this kind of sacrificial love and service as foster parents, spouses, ministry leaders, employees, and every other role we play in our lives. We have so many opportunities in front of us to reflect Jesus and emulate his way of interacting with and loving others.

As followers of Jesus, love is everything. Jesus commands us to love. (John 15:17)

It’s the whole point! Living a life of sacrificial love not only helps us reflect who Jesus is to those around us, but it also helps our relationship with Jesus grow stronger.

It’s incredibly hard, and yet when we lay down our lives in service and love for others, we help make Jesus accessible and real to everyone around us.

Becky Nelson

Becky enjoys spending time with friends and family, and has a big heart for caring for those around her. With a strong background in office management, Becky loves creating a welcoming environment for all to enjoy. She spends her time outside of work leading at church, and baking pies!

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