Summary: Understanding Christ's example of "friend".
May 6, 2018
Fairweather Friend or Best Friend Forever (BFF)
Yesterday, I was shopping for colored sand at Hobby Lobby for the sand ceremony in an upcoming wedding. As I strolled the aisles, I was approached by a beautiful young lady, who ran up to me, threw her arms around my neck and gave me a wonderful hug. I was momentarily stunned until she said, “Remember me?” She attended the church where I was on staff over ten years ago. Her family moved away about the same time Edna and I were called to pastor a church in Vermont.
Our reading today focuses on what a friend is, a real true friend. Most of us have friends, some more than others. But few of us have what I call TRUE FRIENDS, friends that are there in good times and bad, friends that stay friends even when in the midst of strong disagreements. Friends work together to overcome.
Jesus had friends and some of those friends betrayed Him or let Him down, to say the least.
Jesus was the master, teacher, rabbi, Lord yet He was most of all a friend to His followers.
I think about my favorite apostle Peter and all the times that he got himself in hot water with Jesus. Peter rebuked Jesus when Jesus was trying to prepare the disciples for His departure. How about the time Peter sliced the ear off the soldier who came to arrest Jesus? He couldn’t stay awake for a short time, while Jesus prayed in the garden. Peter even denied Jesus.
The fact that Jesus never gave up on Peter says a lot, doesn’t it? Jesus was a friend indeed to His followers. He even says so: “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Verse 15
Well beloved the reading for today ends with a COMMAND: “These things I command you, that you love one another.” Verse 17
What gets in the way of our obedience to that command? Think long and hard about that. Is it pride or is it some sense of superiority or inferiority? Through the years, I’ve seen so many friendships dissolve over some of the most trivial matters and of course over some fairly heavy- duty disagreements as well. As you ponder that question, meditate on that command thing about “love one another”. Also reflect on Jesus’ love for His friends, even when they let Him down. Jesus loves you and me and we have certainly let Him down a time or two, haven’t we?
We call ourselves Christians and to live up to that designation, we must get past ourselves and strive towards living out the commands and teachings of our BEST FRIEND FOREVER – JESUS THE CHRIST.
Let us pray -