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The Parable of The Friend at Midnight Made Simple

(Luke 11:5-13)

Don’t you love friends that come around at midnight?

I’m sitting here with a friend who I rang at midnight. And now he’s sitting here watching all these parables get done during the night. Exactly 111 minutes worth of memory left. I feel that this is a much anointed time to be preaching this. It could be 333; but it’s 111.

So, it’s midnight… And here we go.

This was what Jesus said in the parable recorded in Luke 11:5-13.

5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

I always appreciate an illustration.

I consider a friend as someone with these two qualifications. He is someone who I’ve been to their house to dinner with or they’ve been to my house to dinner with. A friend is someone I could ring up and lend $300 from so I could get an airplane ticket to another state because of an emergency. And they wouldn’t be asking me when I’m going to pay the money back. They’d be saying how long before you need the money and what account we’d need to put that into.

Now, if I can’t see those two - if they haven’t been to my place or I haven’t been to their place and I can’t see them giving me $300 without question - I don’t consider them a friend of mine. I haven’t asked any of my friends for $300. But I know the people that I could ask that of. Many of them have given me money or shared some amount or have got that gracious attitude that I know I could ask them if I was in a hard place.

If this situation was to occur: you were at home, say, at 11:30 pm and some people arrived in your city from another state. They’re driving through to another state, but the father is now getting too tired. He’s starting to fall asleep at the wheel. They’ve looked you up because they know that you live in that city and they’re asking perhaps if they can stay the night at your place and continue on in the morning. Imagine they’ve turned up without anything to eat, and you haven’t got anything in your house to feed them. They’re hungry. They want to stay in your house, and they’re tired. They need something to eat. You need to entertain them.

Have you got a friend with that $300? Have you got a friend that you could wake up at 12:00 midnight and get three loaves of bread?

Remember that little boy who gave five small barley loaves to Jesus? Take note, those were not five big loaves of bread, but five small barley loaves. They weren’t wheat, but barley. They were a poor boy’s food. That was his lunch. He had five little buns and a couple of fish.

But in our example, we’re talking about three loaves of bread here, not three little barley loaves. This is quite substantially more than what that little boy had. But that little lad fed 5,000 people that day. Back in those days, it wasn’t a small ask. It was enough to feed a family for a couple of meals, perhaps with some olives or something else.

Have you got a friend that you can wake up at midnight? Have you? We’re talking about these parables, but I’m talking about you. Have you got a friend that you can wake up at midnight and get $40 to buy a few pizzas? Or go down the local all-night Turkish shop and get some food? Have you got a friend that you can go get $50 from and put on a feast for your friends who have arrived at midnight? Who can you wake up at that midnight hour and get that?

Now, you can go around to an acquaintance’s place and knock on the door and he says, “Look I’ve got my kids in bed.” Now, if you’ve got your children in bed, that means they’re sleeping in your bed with you. That means you’re poor. You haven’t got three rooms. You’ve only got one bed. Many families live like this. They’re all in one bed. There are three children in bed plus a wife. Therefore, getting up out of bed, putting the light on and going downstairs can make noises that will wake the whole family up.

How many friends have you got that you can wake up in the middle of the night, disturb the sleep of his whole family yet would not be cranky for him having to help you? How many friends? Come on, count them. How many friends can you go around to their place and get $50 in the middle of the night and wake the whole family up?

We’ve all got one of them. His name is Jesus Christ. He’s awake all the time. He hasn’t got a family that is going to wake up. We’ve got a friend called Jesus. He’s the friend the parable is directing us to. We thought that Jesus was talking about a friend down here. But it’s actually Him.

I remember one day, I was homeless. I was living in a homeless shelter. I kept on meeting a Christian friend who’d find $5 on the road, $10 on the road, $5 on the road. He kept on, you know, every week, I was meeting him and he’d say, “I found $5 today. I found $10 today.” He kept on finding money! And I was always giving to the poor. So even two days after my pension was paid to me, I’d always given all my money away to people and was living for the next fortnight on free food and accommodation. Anyway, he got the better of me. He kept on finding this free money.

One time, I wanted to go to the movies. I wanted to have a pizza. And I said to the Lord, “Let me find $20 today”. I walked around the whole night, not meeting people in the eye. If you’ve listened to my other parables, in the Light on the Hill parable, you’ll realize that I’m always talking to people, I always walk up saying hello to people. So it was very hard for me to spend the whole night looking at the road rather than looking at the people and smiling and saying hello to them.

I went around the whole night looking for this $20 and I couldn’t find it. “Ah well, Jesus doesn’t want to give me $20 today,” I said to myself. I’ve never asked him for money. I hardly ever ask him for anything. Jesus has actually corrected me for that, for not asking Him for things.

At the end of the night, I met a homeless guy that I knew in a Chinese restaurant. I went in and said hello. I had a loaf of bread that I had been given from a food van. I went in there and he said, “Do you want a glass of wine? We’ll have communion.” He got out a bottle of red wine out of his bag, and got two glasses from the restaurant. He sat down and poured a nice glass of wine. We broke bread and prayed and had communion. It was the best communion I had in my whole life. We chatted and he offered me some of his meal. I said, “No, I’d just eaten.”

This guy used to sleep in the rain. He slept out in the streets when it was raining. We went outside and he said, “Before you go,” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He gave me a $50 bill. I tried to press it back to him. But he said, “No. This is for you.”

I said I can’t accept it. “Jesus told me to give it to you. So you’ve got to take it,” he said.

I cried . . . I walked away crying. I asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the $20?”

He said, “Yeah.”

I went into McDonald’s and I got a supersized Coke for $3.50. On the way out of McDonald’s, someone said, “Have you got spare change?” So I gave him $2.50.

Then, a girl came up to me and said, “Have you got $2 change?”

I felt compassion for her and I said, “How much do you need?”

She said, “I really need $20.” And I gave her a $20 note.

I looked down and I had $22 left, enough for pizza the next day and to go to the movies like I wanted to. That was one of the three times that I actually asked Jesus for something. And you know what? He delivered it through a homeless man. I never did pay that man the $50 back. But when I gave the girl $20, she broke down in tears and hugged me. You know those hugs where you try to let go but the person won’t? Three or four times you try to pull out of the hug but you realize that they’re overcome with emotion and they’ve got to keep on holding you? Well I was in that thing, hugging her for a couple of minutes. She wouldn’t let go of me. It just broke her heart. “Why would you give me this?”

I said, “Jesus would give you this. Jesus loves you.” That was a testimony.

You know, Jesus loves us. He doesn’t want to give us all our lusts and our desires. He says quite clearly in the gospels. He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus loves us. He loves you. He wants to provide for your needs. Don’t be afraid of asking him. Don’t be afraid of seeking his will for your life; of asking him what his will for your life is and pursuing it. Don’t be worried about asking him to provide for your material needs. Like he said, “Does a child ask his father for bread and the Father give him a stone?” (Luke 11:11)

In the account of the temptation, Satan said to Jesus he could turn this stone into bread. Remember that? Well, Jesus is saying the opposite. Does a person ask for bread and the Father give them a stone? The Father loves you. Jesus loves you. One of the best ways I know of to prosper in His Kingdom is to watch all these parables and get them into you.

So often we think that we are bugging God with small requests. So often we think that God is too busy and he is too important to bother with the problems in our life. We think somehow that we are not good enough, not important enough and that we would be giving God a headache with our prayers. Jesus says differently. He says that we are to feel free to come to Him with any request as often as we wish. I pray that you will go to Him with your requests now.

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