Bible study blog—Neighbors and Working Together For Good. Everyone remembers the great Yogi Berra, right? He was an American professional baseball catcher, manager and coach who played nineteen seasons in the Major Leagues. The last of which was with the New York Yankees. Once Berra was asked if a certain restaurant in New York was as popular as ever and he was quoted as saying, “Naw, nobody ever goes there anymore—it’s too crowded.” It always got a big laugh. Places that become too crowded typically crowd out the people who were there originally. It can’t function properly any longer because of the crowds. All the new clientele that went to the restaurant wanted to experience that part of Berra’s world. Consequently, with so many people around, Berra stopped going because it was too crowded. But it also applies to being neighbors together beyond our walls.
If we look at how Jesus changed the life of the paralyzed man, we realize the significance of the story. People were gathered together in large numbers to hear Jesus speak and to be healed. They did this in an effort to learn and to worship. When the friends of the paralyzed man couldn’t get their friend close enough to Jesus, they opened a hole in the roof of the building above where Jesus sat and lowered him in front of Jesus. It was because of their faith that Jesus could help the man. He saved the man and made him walk.
What a sight it must have been to watch Jesus bless the man, forgive him of his sins and then watch as the man picked up his mat and walked out. Of course, we know from the scriptures that the teachers of the law thought Jesus a blasphemer. Can you just imagine the look on their faces when Jesus not only forgave the man, but made him walk as well? Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
Sometimes, we feel paralyzed ourselves and we need others in the Church to reach out to us. The lessons learned from the paralyzed man: he was attentive to Jesus, he accepted Jesus’ help, he let his friends and others gather around him in love.
What about the paralyzed man’s friends? How do they stand out in this story? First, they put a plan together to get their friend help from Jesus. Next, they pulled their strength together and accomplished their goal.
My mother always wanted me to see the moral to any story. She’d say, “What’s the moral of this story, Regina?” Of course, I’d always roll my eyes because I was so done with this question. I was a brat. What can I say? But I’m sure some part of me paid attention because I remember those stories my mother told me and their morals.
Now that I’m a grandma, I like to think that when I tell stories to Haylie, she gets the moral. But most of the time she’s more interested in her jewelry and she’s like, “Do I look like I get the moral of your story?” Oh, well, I try. I’m sure she’s gonna get it one day. She’s a genius, you know.
So, looking at the paralyzed man story, we find that we are more courageous when we work together. It’s that strength in numbers thing. Kinda like when Haylie used to help her daddy figure out some game on his phone.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Wherever we go, wherever people gather together. we are going to find doors. Doors matter in order to let us into the presence of God and out into the world to share God’s message. As neighbors, we must gather together in order to be the creative and passionate people God wants us to be.
What’s your good neighbor story?
And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!
About Regina Stone Matthews
Regina Stone Matthews is an award-winning children’s book author who lives in Texas. Her award-winning children’s books Words and Actions, Tracks in the Snow, and I’m a Detective: Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson When I Dream received the Christian Literary Awards’ Reader’s Choice Award. I’m a Detective also received the Christian Literary Awards’ Henri Award. Her other books include Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson: When I Dream,and Dealing With Margaret: Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson When I Dream. Regina is currently working on an adult novel, which will be available in late 2016.
Regina is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, The Rockwall Christian Writer’s Group, and the North Forty Storytellers Guild. She also founded the Facebook Group Kids Inspiring Kids to recognize inspirational children. For more information about Regina, visit her website.