There I was, sitting in the second row of a small room listening to an exhortation about Jesus healing a paralytic when the words ‘squad goals’ hit me. Okay, that was… random. Although the focus of the exhortation was on faith, it reminded me more about friendship. And by friendship I don’t just mean the hi-hello-I-liked-and-commented-on-your-post kind. I’m talking about unpretentious, covenant, iron sharpens iron kind of friendship. So what started as a seemingly random thought turned into a deeper contemplation on my kind of #squadgoals.
The account in the gospels didn’t say how the paralytic and the men knew each other. It actually didn’t even use the word friends. They were just there together. Did they know what caused the paralysis? No. Did they know how to make him walk again? No. But they did know this: they need to bring him to Jesus. The simplicity of this statement stunned me. Here are a couple of guys trying to help someone out. They don’t have any technical information or strategic game plan. Yet this squad understood the truth that Jesus is the only one who can heal, and that their paralytic friend needs him.
Reference Verses | Mark 2:1-5, Luke 5:17-20
Now you might say that two people don’t really qualify as a squad, but hear me out. I chose David and Jonathan because their friendship exemplified lessons worth following for every squad. They entertained neither comparison nor competition despite the difference in their backgrounds (David grew up as a shepherd while Jonathan grew up as a prince). They also kept no room for envy, even though they both excelled in the same thing (leading the armies to victory). And most importantly, their sense of loyalty and mutual respect were rooted in their faith in God.
Reference Verses | 1 Samuel 14:1-13, 1 Samuel 18:1-6, 1 Samuel 20: 1-45
Being in the same squad with Jesus sounds cool with all the miracles and water-walking moments you can witness. But just as the disciples learned, having Jesus in your squad is not all fun and marvels. And that’s the beauty of it. Jesus’ friendship teaches us the value of humility and service. It also teaches us that there’s a certain level of friction when you have to speak the truth in love. When something had to be corrected in the disciples, Jesus did not shrug it off in silent irritation. He talked to them and reminded them of the truth.
Reference Verses | Matthew 14:25-33, Matthew 20:20-28, John 13:1-17
Have you thought about your #squadgoals? What friendship lesson would you like to apply starting today?