Summary: A message for our annual Friend Day
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
October 8, 2005
Mark Wellman gained national attention in the summer of 1989 by climbing the sheer face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The fact that Mark climbed the mountain is not the remarkable part, but the fact that he did so being a paraplegic. Mark climbed for seven days with the help of his close friend, Mike Corbett. Mike would hold while Mark would pull himself up the granite face.
These two men shared a depth of friendship that seems to be a thing of the past in our society.
What is a friend?
A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:
"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
"One who understands our silence."
"A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
Bits & Pieces, July, 1991.
Another source gives this version and source:
A friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world goes out.
The Bible is filled with stories of friendship.
1.) Moses and Jethro
2.) David and Jonathan
3.) Elijah and Elisha
4.) Paul and Timothy
5.) Paul and the church at Ephesus
This morning I want to take a few minutes to look at how deeply Jesus wants to have a personal friendship with us. Open your Bibles to John 15:13-15
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Being a Friend of Christ means that you have His sacrifice (13)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Many years ago in Canada a young man, his wife, his two children, and another young man were pursued by a large pack of hungry wolves. When about to be overtaken, they shot some of the wolves. This stopped the wolves a short time while they devoured the dead ones. Again about to be overtaken, they cut the lead horse of the three-horse team loose. The wolves pounced upon him and devoured him. The people were trying to reach the place of safety; but, before they could do so, the wolves were upon them.
The young man who was with the other young man and his family said, "The only hope is for me to give myself to the wolves." Then he immediately leaped from the vehicle into the pack of wolves. Of course he was devoured immediately. Just as they reached the place of safety, the wolves were again upon them; but the family rushed in and was safe. They could scarcely rest. They said, "Our friend gave himself for us. We are living because he is dead."
Jesus sets a level for love that in a word is supreme. Jesus loves you with a level of love that you will never be able to fully comprehend. The standard He sets is higher than we may be able to understand. Jesus sets the standard with His own actions.