“27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

This week at Youth Group, I taught the Junior High Students the end of Matthew 9. Something that stood out to me was the importance of the two blind men following Jesus together. They actively followed Jesus and they were rewarded for that.

The importance of friendship is a theme the Bible preaches from Genesis 1 all of the way through Revelation 22. One of the most beautiful examples is found in Proverbs. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

The greatest times of growth in my walk with Jesus have been times when I had these “iron” relationships. They were times when I sought the Lord together with other people. In Bible College I was surrounded by people who only wanted to grow in their walks with Jesus and I wanted the same. We pushed one another forward to be better followers of Jesus.

Today in my Christian walk, I have “iron” relationships too. I have friends who want to talk about Jesus and how to follow Him better. We are able to point out sin in one another’s lives so that we can stay obedient to God. To be in an “iron” relationship means to be in a relationship of accountability. Being accountable helps us to walk in humility and obedience.

If you keep reading in Matthew 9, we come to the Pharisees. As a group, they claim Jesus is casting out demons through the power of demons. We see the dangers of friendships that are not actively seeking the Lord together, even though they may be “synagogue friends”. Just because someone attends church does not mean they are seeking the Lord or that we should allow them influence in our relationship with Christ. Just as “iron” relationships are powerful, so too are ungodly relationships.

In Psalms 1, David says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

At the end of the day, the counsel we receive should be from the Word of God. When we surround ourselves with friends who are submitted to the Word, we find ourselves sharpened as we continually surrender to Jesus.”