Summary: Jesus is a lot of things to us-Lord, King, Savior. But there’s one thing that Jesus is that we might not think about very often-a friend. Let’s find out more about that wonderful aspect of Jesus.
INTRODUCTION: It’s nice to have friends isn’t it? It’s nice to know that there’s someone you can call on in a time of need, someone who you can discuss things with, someone you can turn to when you’re dealing with something. It’s good to have people you can share good news with, someone who will be excited when positive things are happening in your life. And if you have someone who you can call a best friend, that’s even better. This is the person who knows you better than anyone; the person that you’re not afraid to be yourself with; the person who knows your secrets and your dreams; the person who knows all your faults and loves you anyway. Jesus is a lot of things to us-Lord, King, Savior. But there’s one thing that Jesus is that we might not think about very often-a friend. Let’s find out more about that wonderful aspect of Jesus.
1) Aspects of friendship:
• Intimacy. Exodus 33:11 says that The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Jesus might not speak face to face with us now, though we would like him to, but we can still have intimacy with him. Through the word and through His spirit he will communicate with us. We can talk with Jesus and listen to His spirit ministering to us. When we’re in prayer we can pour our heart out to God and if we will listen, he will pour out his heart to us. In this time of intimacy we can lean more about him and we also learn more about ourselves. In our time of intimacy we can be refreshed, we can be instructed, we can be rejuvenated and we can be renewed. Jesus seeks to be intimate with us.
• Honesty. Prov. 27:6, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” A good friend will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. The friend who loves us the most is the one who is willing to risk offending you in order to convey the truth. And that’s the friend that can be trusted because it shows they are more concerned with you changing for the better than they are about you liking them. Prov. 27:9, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Knowing my friend really cares enough about me to point out things that will be helpful and beneficial for my improvement and well being is a joy to my heart. We should seek to have the type of friend who gives sincere, honest counsel. Honesty, sincerity, integrity, these are the qualities of a true friend.
• Helpfulness. Ecc. 4:9-12. It’s good to have an available friend when we are in trouble and need a helping hand. When there’s an emergency a friend won’t leave you hanging. It’s good to have someone there with you to share the load and help provide safety and security. Having a friend like this releases burdens and stress; bringing relief and comfort. This is the kind of friend Jesus is-our helper in our time of need. Heb. 13:6, “So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Jesus is our helper. He is the one we can turn to for protection, deliverance, guidance and help.
• Always there. Prov. 19:4-7. We can have many so-called friends. These are fair-weather friends who are users and abusers. Selfish people who attach themselves to those who can give them what they want. Then there are the true friends who are with you during the bad times; during the lean times. Prov. 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” It would be wise for us to be discerning and determine who our true friends really are. There is definitely one friend who will always stick close to us. We can count on Jesus to always be there. Matt. 28:20b, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” When we’re facing hardship-Jesus is there. When we’re depressed and lonely-Jesus is there. When we’ve messed up-Jesus is there. Even if all others desert and abandon us-Jesus will still be there.
• Love. John 11:11-14, 33-36. Jesus loved his friend Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. When he saw how mournful Lazarus’ sisters were Jesus was moved with empathy and compassion. When we are a true friend to someone, we hurt when they hurt. We love them so much that their sorrow is our sorrow, their pain is our pain. And our love for them isn’t determined by current circumstances or events. We love them all the time. We love them even when they might not be showing love to us. Pr. 17:17 says that a friend loves at all times. If we are going to be a good friend we need to be ready to always show love. That’s what Jesus does. This is the kind of friend he is. He even did this for those who weren’t his friends. Jesus showed love to Judas, whom he knew would later betray him. Jesus loved us when we had no love for him. And Jesus gave us the ultimate example of his love when he died for us. Jesus is the best example of a loving friend.