Summary: For anyone who has ever felt lonely, Jesus offers His friendship; a friendship based on: Sacrifice, Submission, Salvation, and Service.
If this sermon is helpful to you look for my latest book, “The Greatest Commands: Learning To Love Like Jesus.” Each chapter is sermon length, alliterated, and focuses on the life and love of Jesus. You can find it here:
Lonely? Find A Friend In Jesus!
Scott R Bayles, preacher
Church of Christ
One of the most common problems faced by people today is loneliness. Albert Einstein once commented, "It is strange to be known so universally, and yet to be so lonely" (Nelson, 517). I think that there are many people who can identify with that statement. In fact, the very first recorded problem in the Bible was Adam’s loneliness.
George Gallup, of the Gallup research group, has said, "I think that we are a very lonely populace; we are cut apart from each other" (Nelson, 517). There is a lot of truth in that statement. With such innovations as drive-thru windows, automated teller machines, and e-commerce, it is no wonder that we have become an isolated society. According to studies, even the internet, which offers so many ways to keep in touch with friends and family, "seems to be associated with symptoms of social isolation, such as depression and loneliness" (Nelson, 519).
Surveys show that 1 out of 4 people feel lonely at any given moment. As of 1990, 23 million adults in America live by themselves. And of Americans who ate dinner last night, 22% ate alone. Loneliness largely affects children, teenagers, college students, newly married couples, mothers, and senior citizens. It seems that no one is beyond the grasp of lonesomeness (Webster, Lonely).
But, for anyone who has experienced -- or is experiencing -- feelings of isolation, there is a wonderful statement made by our Lord Jesus that gives us hope! Let me invite you to read John 15:12-17 with me, and discover this great blessing that Jesus offers.
John 15:12-17 (ESV)
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
It is almost overwhelming, as we read His words, to learn that the prince of peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Son of God, would want to be our friend! Bill Gothard has said, "Loneliness becomes our ’friend’ when it forces us to enjoy the friendship of God as much as we would the friendship of others" (Nelson, 517). Of all of the friends that we could possibly have in this world, there is no greater friend than Jesus!
This morning I would like for you to notice four principles of your friendship with our Lord, Jesus. The first principle that Jesus gives us, is that your friendship with Him begins with...
John 15:13 ~ "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Our friendships with each other and to the Lord may not be perfect, but His friendship to us is perfect. According to Jesus, the definition of perfect friendship is found in sacrificing your own life for that of your friends.
At the end of Charles Dickens’ classic, "A Tale of Two Cities," set during the French Revolution in 1789, one good friend is able to sneak himself into the Bastille in Paris and take the place of his other friend, who had a wife and family. The first friend, then, sacrificed his life by going to the guillotine in the other’s place. Before he was beheaded, he said, "It is a far far greater thing that I do, than I have ever done before." He redeemed his own life, by giving his life for his friend.
In the North-Atlantic Sea, in February of 1943, the USS Doissture was hit by a German torpedo and began to sink. As the crew began to evacuate, they quickly learned that there were not enough life-jackets to go around. On board were four Navy chaplains (a priest, two ministers, and a rabbi), who gave their life-jackets to the young sailors. The four of them were last seen holding hands, as the ship capsized and sank beneath the sea.