May 2021, Vol. 40, No. 5

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Jesus Wants to Be Your Friend

posted on May 5, 2021

[449 words]

Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.” We all like to have friends, but having close friends is a great blessing. The reason for this is that in close friendships, we have companionship, sympathy, encouragement, support, acceptance, love, trust—the positive list goes on and on. It’s good to have good friends and it’s great to have great friends. Truly great friends are rare and precious, indeed.

Jesus was one who was a friend to those that most would not befriend. He was a friend to the downtrodden of society: the handicapped, the diseased, the poor (Matt. 11:4-5), He was friends to every gender and race (John 4:1-10). Jesus was even accused of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34). Yes, Jesus was a friend to all, for He gave Himself for all of mankind (1 John 2:1-2).

But there is a passage in John 15 that makes Jesus’ friendship very personal to us all. We do have to remember that Jesus was speaking specifically to His apostles in this passage, but these words still generally apply to all of His followers (even today). Let’s look now at John15:13-15 and note a few things about Jesus as our friend and us as friends of Him.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus died for each of us because He wants to be our friend. He was thinking of a personal relationship with each of us while being cruelly crucified. Jesus is faithful and will never let us down as a friend.

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” If we want to be friends of Jesus, then we must obey His word – all of it. In doing so, we are pledging our faithfulness to Him. However, we need to remember the opposite is true, as well – if we disobey His will, then we are not being a good friend to Him.

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…” In this we see that Jesus does not want us to serve Him out of compulsion, but as willing, loving friends. Jesus desires us to be friends with Him!

It is as we sing, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” He is the best friend we could ever have. True friends are loyal to one another, spend a lot of time together, and do good things for each other. Are you really “friends to the end” with Jesus?

Edd Sterchi
Broadway church of Christ
Campbellsville, KY

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