We are all familiar with the slogan, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” That slogan has been frequently amended and added to bumper stickers and t-shirts to communicate various messages. For example, friends don’t let friends, do stupid things, alone. Friends don’t let friends wear bad outfits.
Okay. Seriously. A true friend will try to prevent a friend from being hurt. Proverbs 18:24 says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Ask yourself, “What kind of friend am I?” Are you a really good friend? Do you care about the welfare of your close friends? How much do you care?
In Mark 7:31 – 37, we meet a man who had a severe disability. He was both deaf and mute. Fortunately for him, he had some friends who were concerned enough about his condition to want to help. Mark is the only Gospel writer to record this miracle which occurred in the region of the Decapolis. This area was made up of mostly Gentiles. In this section of Mark’s gospel we see Jesus ministering to Gentiles and demonstrating His care and concern for all people.
The people in the region had heard of Jesus. This is the same area where Jesus cast demons out of a man and sent the demons into some pigs. No doubt word had gotten around about that incident as well as stories of other miracles Jesus had performed.
In verse 32 we are told “some people” brought this man to Jesus. How often have you ever used the word “they” when telling a story. Maybe you have heard someone else say “they’ and you wondered just exactly who are “they?” Some translation actually say “they.” We have no idea about the identity of this group of people. Maybe they are friends and/or family members. What we do know is “they” cared enough to get this man to Jesus.
Notice what this group of people did. They begged Jesus. They pleaded with Jesus. They were desperate to have Jesus touch this man who had this physical problem. The Greek is very specific about the man’s speech disability. He had a speech impediment and was also deaf. His physical need was visible. He also had a spiritual need of which they were not aware.
Let me ask you something. Are you begging Jesus on behalf of your friends who have a need? This man obviously had a physical need. We have friends who have physical needs. We also have friends who have spiritual needs. Are you interceding for friends? Are you praying for them? Are you pleading with Jesus on their behalf? Are you trying to get them to Jesus?