Jesus as our friend...
Jesus is the friend of sinners
Matthew, Chapter 11 (WEB)
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children. ”
If we are honest, we will be forced to admit that we are guilty of sin (perhaps multiple sins daily)? Yet, if Jesus could be the friend of people like those above; could he not be our friend? I am of the persuasion that he not only could, but in fact IS OUR FRIEND!!! And, like the dog in the picture, seeks us out for company. Will we seek HIM out as well?
Jesus tells us what we really need to hear.
Luke, Chapter 12 (WEB)
1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Friends just don't tell you what you want to hear, but what they need to hear. And this means putting friendship "on the line" for another's good. And what greater good could there possibly be than to save us from HELL (Gehenna, above)!!! I want a friend like that because I can trust HIM!!! Do you?
Jesus taught a perfect friendship
Matthew, Chapter 5 (WEB)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I remember the old ad for the Army- "be the best you can be". Friends that are worth something always bring out the best in you; always challenge you to be better. And what could possibly be better than the perfection of the creator of the universe? We can never be as perfect as God, but frankly, I like the idea of reaching out to be what God really wants us to be!!! Perfection, now there is a GOAL!!!
Jesus "walked the walk" of friendship.
John, Chapter 15 (WEB)
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Some people talk a good game, but when it come to "crunch time"- forget IT. Jesus was our friend until he died and then was still our friend AFTERWARDS!!! Only one of his kind; somebody very special- in fact, PERFECT. Quite a number of people have done kindnesses towards me over the years, but not one of them ever died for me- EXCEPT JESUS.
Love Jesus because HE is a TRUE FRIEND!!! Face it, in this world, good friends come and go, but friendship with Jesus can last forever. On his part, he will always be our friend, but I wonder- will everyone who reads this be a friend to Jesus??? And Gary- THIS MEANS YOU!!!