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5

Midnight Friend in Galilee

Key References: Luke 11:5-13; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, chap. 6, pp. 130-134; Our Beliefs nos. 10, 22, 14

Power Text

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Power Point

Because God loves us at all times, we are always willing to reflect His love to others.

Has a friend ever awakened you when you were in a deep sleep or interrupted you when you were working on an important assignment? How did you respond? Jesus told a story about such a situation. Imagine it happened like this.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

A boy rolled over on his mat and tried to block out the noise. Thud! Thud! Thud!

There it was again! It’s the middle of the night! Who could be at the door? he wondered. Thud! Thud! Thud!

“OK, OK,” he heard his father mumble. “I’m coming.”

The son could see the tiny flicker of lamplight as his father stepped across the other family members’ sleeping mats and made his way to the door.

“Who’s there?” Father asked groggily.

“It’s me,” the father’s friend said in a loud whisper.

Father opened the door. “What’s wrong?” he asked, concern in his voice.

“I’ve had unexpected visitors come to my house. Since my wife has been ill, she hasn’t been to the market. I didn’t have time to go either. Could I borrow three loaves of bread?”

“You need three loaves of bread in the middle of the night?” Father asked.

“I know,” his friend replied. “But these friends have traveled a long way. Their children are hungry. Please, can’t you give me three loaves of bread?”

Father sighed. “I’ll wake up the entire family trying to find things.”

“Please. I have nowhere else to turn,” the friend pleaded.

“OK,” Father finally said. “I’ll see what I can find.”

The young man could hear his father looking for the bread.

“Oof!” Father exclaimed.

The son could just imagine his father stubbing his toe! He crawled out of his bed mat, being careful not to wake his younger brother.

“Here’s the bread,” the father said just as his son came up. “Now let a weary man get back to his warm bed.”

“Thank you, my friend,” the midnight visitor said as he took the bread. “I knew I could count on you. Good night.”

“Good night,” Father replied.

Turning around, the father was startled to see his son standing beside him.

“So we managed to wake the entire household after all,” Father groaned.

“No. I think I’m the only one who is awake,” the son reassured him. “I’m surprised someone would come over in the middle of the night, though.”

“I’m not,” his father said with a chuckle.

“He and I have known each other since we were babies. Part of being a friend is being available when it’s convenient and even when it’s not. He’s my friend, and he knew that he could come and wake me up.”

“And you could go to him sometime if you really needed help,” the son interjected.

“I wouldn’t even have to think twice about it,” said Father. “As with you, if you asked me for bread, I wouldn’t give you a rock.”

“It kind of reminds me of something Jesus said when we heard Him the other day,” the son recalled.

“What’s that?” his father asked.

“Well, Jesus said, ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened’ ” (Luke 11:9, 10).

The boy turned to his father questioningly. “Do you think that means He’d give me anything I want?”

“Would you give your friends anything they wanted?” his father replied.

“No. I’d have to decide whether it was what they really needed, I guess,” the boy said.

“I believe that is how it is with God,” his father answered. “There is a big difference between needs and wants. If He gave us everything we wanted, it might not be best for us.”

“Being a true friend takes a lot of hard work, doesn’t it?” the son asked.

“That’s right,” his father encouraged him. “But if you are a good friend, you are always willing to reflect God’s love.”