Summary: The following sermon outlines 7 reasons why Jesus Christ is our very best friend!
A FRIEND NAMED JESUS
This is a world that is interconnected with everyone. No longer are religious or political groups local but global in perspective. For example, when I was growing up I heard very little about the other religions such as Islam, Buddhist and Hinduism. Today that is not the case. On the political frontier who has not heard of the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine, the Sunni and Shiite struggle for power in the middle east, the rebellion against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, oil dropping from about $120 to around $30 a barrel, and one of the craziest political races for the Whitehouse in history? We are interconnected today in such a way that our community that we relate to has no geographic barriers. Bombarded with global news, Facebook, the internet and our handheld devices; most are in constant contact with massive numbers of people all over the world. Even though we are interconnected with devices that can send messages instantly, the communication sent and received is of such poor quality that genuine relationships rarely ever happen. Who has not seen a group of teenagers sitting together at a table an instead of spending time to develop deeper relationships with each other all they do is sit and text, ignoring each other.
No matter how evil people are I believe that every individual has a genuine desire to love and be loved by other people. Being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) who is pure love (1 John 4:8) it should not come as a surprise to us that we crave to have love extend from and us and to be received in return. Don’t most of us seek to find a genuine friend that loves us unconditionally, regardless of the secrets they learn about us? Absolutely. I want to tell you a story about a man who sought and found a friend that dramatically changed his life!
His Name is Joseph Medlicott Scriven. Joseph Scriven was born in 1819 of prosperous parents in Banbridge, Ireland. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. At age 25 he fell in love. He found his soul mate and best friend but on the day before his wedding day tragedy struck. While crossing a bridge to visit Joseph, his fiancé fell off her horse and drowned in the River Bann in Ireland. Can you imagine how broken you would feel, being so close to marrying your best friend only to have to burry her! Joseph of course was crushed so he sailed to Canada to forget his broken heart by starting a brand new life. He started his life in Canada and to his surprise fell in love again and got engaged the second time. All seemed to be going right in his life again. Finally, he was happy and about to marry his new best friend. But before he got married his finance got sick and four months later died of pneumonia. What would be the odds that this would happen twice? How could he ever recover and would he be forced to give up on finding a best friend? Would you at the second funeral sit their and blame God? This was not the end of tragedy for Joseph. His mother got deadly ill and he could not afford to return to Ireland. Heartbroken and helpless Joseph decided to write a poem to his mother so that she might receive some comfort. That poem has been sung in churches ever since: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Joseph never did remarry but he did find His very best friend – one that would never leave him and one who loved him unconditionally. His name was Jesus and there are 7 really good reasons why He is the very best friend any person can have!
Point 1: Jesus is a True Friend Because He loves us Unconditionally
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. (Mark 5:1-4)
No one from his community wanted anything to do with this person. He was on the outskirts of society because he was violent and being controlled by demons. Many people in society are ostracized because they have made some bad choices in life like this person. Other times we kick people out of our social circle simply due to their personality being so different than ours. Regardless of the reasons the outcome is still the same: a person created in the image of God is not being loved. Most of you probably know of people you would never dream of extending the hand of friendship. For instance, do we love the prostitutes, tax collector, drug addicts, Islamic extremists and dictators or do we, like village of this man, choose to kick those people out of our lives?