As I was reading the book of Luke, chapter 5, I came across some lessons or themes that stood out to me. These included partnerships, discipline and perseverance, among others. Here I’m going to discuss the importance of partnerships, using passages from Luke 5. In life, it matters who you partner with. If you go forward in anything or grow spiritually and get closer to God, do you ask yourself who your partners are? You have to because there may come a point where you rise or fall with them.
The great catch of fish
From the first verse we find Jesus calling his first disciples. Jesus had just used Simon’s (before he was called Peter) boat to teach from and after that had told Simon where to place their nets to catch fish. When Simon did, there was such a large number of fish that the nets began to break. When this happened, verse 7 tells us:
“So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”
When their boats were full, they called their partners to help them. In your life, your partners will be the ones you call, the ones you share your blessings with, as they do the same theirs. They are who you will call to help you “lift heavy nets to put into boats.” The ones who will help with the heavy lifting, in Peter’s case, literally.
Verses 9-10 tell us who exactly Simon’s partners were:
“For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.”
This is the first time we are introduced to Simon, James and John and their partnership. We see it in play throughout the rest of the New Testament. There were even times where Jesus, instead of taking the rest of the disciples with Him, would take only these three. From the way Jesus dealt with them and what we know of them, their partnership kept them close and for lack of a better phrase “on the same level.” You can’t be living your life in a manner that is pleasing to God when your partner or one of your partners is far from God.
The healing of the paralyzed man
In Luke 5 verses 17 to 26, we find Jesus healing a paralyzed man, whose friends lowered him using a mat through the roof. Verses 18-20 says:
“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus went on to heal the paralyzed man. The Bible says “When Jesus saw ‘their’ faith” not when Jesus saw “his” faith. It was their combined faith that moved Jesus, not one person’s faith. You need partners who will have faith for you and with you.
From this story, the paralyzed man could not get himself where he needed to be, in front of Jesus. His partners did that for him. This is why having partners is important. Where you are not in a position to help yourself, they cover the gap. Not just any partners, the right ones.
You need partners who will persevere for you and with you. When the friends couldn’t get the paralyzed man through the crowd, they didn’t give up. They found another way to make sure one of theirs got a chance to be healed. You need partners who will do that for you. Partners who won’t give up. Partners who will do whatever it takes to get you where you need to be to get help.
Who are your partners?
Do you have partners? If not, you need to get some. Ask God for guidance. It could be they are already there, you just don’t see them for what they are. As you choose them, it can’t be any partners but the right ones. The ones who will lower the mat you’re lying on through the roof. The ones who will be willing to fast and pray for you when you face a situation where you can’t get yourself out of bed. The ones who will remind you who God is when you start to doubt.
At the end of the day, the best partner though is God through the Holy Spirit, who lives in you. If you partner with God He won’t steer you wrong. The Holy Spirit is the partner that will never fail you. As great as we are as partners to each other, as human beings we will have times where we fail each other. For those times, the Holy Spirit is always there to turn to.