3 entries for this category:
| True Friend - Jesus the Dearest Friend I Know by Pastor. Koo |
We live in a society today that is lonely and isolated. We have lost our connection with one another. We drive to work alone in our car (that is why there is HOV line on the highway), work all day in our office, get cash at the ATM, get lunch at the drive through, enjoy the computer game or internet chatting, and spend the night watching TV. No wonder so many of us feel alone.
We need relationships. We need contact with other humans. Without contact, we despair. We need friends. That is how we are made up. We need relationships and friends. However, it is very difficult to find a true friend.
One man identified a real friend as "The one who steps in when everybody else steps out." It is a blessing to have good friends. Many of us are blessed with at least one good friend. Some of us are fortunate enough to have many. I hope that you have many good friends.
A few years back, Pepper Rodgers was in the middle of a terrible season as football coach at UCLA. It even got so bad that it upset his home life. He recalls, "My dog was my only friend. I told my wife that a man needs at least two good friends…. and she bought me another dog."
In today's Scripture, Jesus called his disciples friends, "I no longer call you servants; instead, I have called you friends." Can Jesus be our friend? Even though I knew this verse and read it many times before, I just understood this as a regular friendship between man and man such as the friendship between David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. I never seriously thought about this verse as a relationship between Jesus and I. Have you ever considered Jesus to be your friend? Perhaps you have never thought of Jesus in that way.
Jesus is our Savior. He is our Master. He is the eternal God who came to this earth and was made a man. Jesus is the Son of God who offered Himself as a sacrifice on Calvary for our sins. He who knew no sin was made sin on our behalf that we might be made the righteous of God in Him. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day; thereby proving Himself to be both the Son of God and God the Son. Jesus ascended into heaven and took His place on the throne at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus is our ruler, judge, and King. But is he our friend? Would you be comfortable talking to him the way you do to your friends in "your language?"
However, today's Scripture says that Jesus can be our friend. He wants to share Himself with us. He wants to be our friend. Jesus is the one who loves His friends. How much does He love his friends? In today's Scripture, Jesus says, "The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends." "Wow!" Die for his friends! Jesus not only died for his friends, but for his enemies, the people who hated him. What was the deepest experience of friendship you ever experienced?"
When I reflected on my personal friendships, I realized that I only once had given my blood to my friend who was suffering from Leukemia. I had once given $1,000 to my friend who was struggling with financial problems. I had often treated my friends to a good meal. I had frequently given a precious and expensive gift to my friend. I willingly can help my friends. I can sing for my good friends. I will pray for my best friends. However, I never thought about dying for a friend. I don't even think about it. I cannot imagine that. That is totally impossible. How can I die for my friend?
Jim was the Navy captain of a large transport and was making his way across the Atlantic during World War II. His transport was loaded with hundreds of boys on the day that an enemy submarine rose in the sea close by. A torpedo was headed directly toward his ship. With no time to change course, he shouted through the loudspeaker, "Boys, this is it!"
Jim was traveling with a smaller escorting destroyer. When the captain of that destroyer saw the torpedo, he gave the order, "Full speed ahead." The escort destroyer plunged into the path of the torpedo, purposely taking the place of the large transport. The weapon hit its target and every man on the destroyer was lost. The skipper of the destroyer was Jim's best friend, Bob. Jim witnessed the most incredible sacrifice a friend can make: to give his own life for a friend (John 15:13).
It is extremely difficult to die for a friend. But that is exactly what Jesus did. He called us as friends and He died on the cross for us! Jesus loved us enough to give Himself as a sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Jesus died for you and me, because He considered us to be His friends. And Jesus said that you could have no greater love for anyone than this. Jesus just didn't talk about His love; He proved it. He showed the greatest love towards us. Do you have a friend like that?
Friendships are important, but they don't always last. The friends I had as a kid are long gone. The friends I had as a teenager are a distance away. Even many of the friends that I have had as an adult have drifted away. Jesus knows us and loves us. He stands by for us. He cares about our weakness and loneliness. Jesus will always be there for us. He wants to be our friend.
Here's Jesus' promise to you! "When you are sad…I will dry your tears. When you are scared…I will comfort your fears…when you are worried…I will give you hope…And when you are lost and cannot see the light…I shall be your beacon, shinning ever so bright. This is my promise, I pledge till the end. 'Why?' you may ask…because you are my friend."
We were sinners; we will never be Jesus' friends; but he has honored us by calling us His friends. He loved us so much that He even gave His life for us. Jesus is the best friend to all us - the real friend for life - the life-giving friend.
Have you ever had a "good friend?" The good news is that Jesus wants to be your best friend. He wants you to receive Him and have a rich, deep relationship with Him as your closest friend, which will last an eternity. If you already made a good friendship with Christ, get to know Him better. And if you have not made a friendship with Christ, let me plead with you to come to Him today as friend.
Make Him your best friend. Jesus can be your friend today.
© 2005 Moore's Chapel UMC URL: http://www.mooreschapel.org/pastor/koo-sermons/jesus-fr ....iend.html
Category: True Friend
| True Friend - Friend of Sinners by Scott Grady |
INTRODUCTION: "Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together." Wouldn't life be miserable without friends. Everyone wants to think that they have at least one friend. Abraham Lincoln said, "The better part of one's life consists of his friendships."
Why are friends so important? A friend is one who is your ally in trouble. He is one to whom you can tell your troubles and deepest secrets, without fear of having them revealed. He is one who like you because you are you, and not for what he can get from you. "Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you" (Elbert Hubard)
With these facts in mind it is perfectly appropriate to think of Jesus as our best friend.
I. JESUS WAS A FRIEND TO ALL WHILE ON THE EARTH.
A. Jesus was a friend to Children.
1. Matthew 19:13-15 "Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14- But Jesus said, =91Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' 15- And He laid His hands on them and departed from there." B. Jesus was a friend to the Poor.
2. Used little children as examples of the attitudes necessary for adults to enter the kingdom.
a. Matthew 18:1-4
1. A proof of his messiahship C. Jesus was a friend to the Sick.
a. Matthew 11:1-52. Emptied himself and became poor in order to save the poor.
a. 2 Corinthians 8:9 - "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich."
1. Even when he wanted to rest himself he still found time for the sick. D. Jesus was a friend to All Races.
a. Matthew 14:13-14 "When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 - "And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick."
1. John 4:4-42
2. He wanted to good news about him to be preached to all.
a. Matthew 28:19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"3. Acts 15:9 - "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."
II. IN A VERY SPECIAL WAY JESUS IS A FRIEND TO SINNERS.
A. Jesus laid down his life for Sinners. III. JESUS CALLS ON US TO BE HIS FRIENDS.
1. Romans 5:6-8 "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7- For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
2. John 1:29 - "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
3. 1 Peter 1:18-19 "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19- but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
B. This was the good news that was Preached to Lost Sinners.
1. Acts 2:38 C. This makes Jesus a friend to all of us, since We are all Sinners.
2. Acts 13:38 - "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;
3. Romans 1:16
1. Romans 3:9-12 "What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10- As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11- There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12- They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
2. Romans 3:23 - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
3. Isaiah 64:6 - "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away."
4. Jesus loves us all. He is touched with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
A. How did he show his friendship? CONCLUSION: Jesus was a "people-person" when He walked among us. He was "the friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Luke 7:34). He befriended the alienated, morally down and out people of His day. Will Rogers said, "In ever met a person I didn't like," but Jesus' life says, "I never met a sinner I didn't want to befriend." Jesus loved the sinner but hated the sin. He treated people he came in contact with as individuals of great worth . He looks at you and sees what you can become, not what you are. He holds out his hand and says, "Come, accept my friendship and be my friends."
1. John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.B. Jesus calls all men to be his friends.
1. Matthew 11:28-29 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden , and I will give you rest. 29- Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me , for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." C. How do we become the friends of Jesus?
2. Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:18-20
a. "Every Creature" and "All Nations."3. 1 Timothy 2:4 - who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1. John 15:14 - "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. D. What does Jesus call on us to do to be our friends?
2. Matthew 7:21- "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22- Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23- And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
1. We must believe that he is the Messiah.
a. John 8:24 - "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."2. Repent (turn away from) our sins.
a. Luke 13:3-53. Confess the name of Christ.
a. Matthew 10:324. Be baptized into Christ
a. Acts 2:38, 22:16
Copyright 2000 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others. URL: http://associate.com/library/www.christianlibrary.org/a ....uthors/Grady_Scott/jesusfriendofsinners.htm
Category: True Friend
| True Friend - Jesus as Friend and Companion by Glenn Miller |
It is difficult to separate this relationship from His teaching and discipling relationship with His disciples and followers. We are looking for passages that are more likely to show Jesus acting more as a friend, than a teacher (although the two are closely related, if you do it right, of course!--cf. Luke 12.4: "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.").
The Pattern of the interactions:
One--Communication: He shared His inner self and communicated with them, including them in His experience.
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on. (Mark 12.41ff)
- He opened His inner emotional life and thoughts to them.
When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me." (John 13.21: )
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." (Matt 26.36)
Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. (Jn 12.27)
- He longed to share deeply meaningful moments with them.
"And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Luke 22.15)
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." (Mark 8.31f)
- He confronted them with major disagreements in agenda.
[Cf: "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods'" (Deut 13.6)]
- He told them of His feelings for them.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 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. (John 15.12)
Two--Shared Experience: He engaged in common living and activity with them.
- He celebrated with them and shared a common life.
They traveled as a band together for 2-3 years, and celebrated all the Jewish festivals and simple daily life together. They shared triumphs of ministry (Luke 10.17) and the attendant tragedies (e.g., the death of John the Baptist).
He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep." (John 11.11) with "Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.(John 12.1-2)
- He spent time with His friends
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' (Luke 7.34) with "And it came about that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax-gatherers and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. 16 And when the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax-gatherers, they began saying to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax-gatherers and sinners?"" (Mark 2.15ff)
Three--His Commitments "To": He expressed and lived commitments to them, and maintained a strong personal relationship with God, from which to fulfil those commitments.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14.27)
- He was concerned with their peace of mind
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. (John 14.1)
(cf: "But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."" Luke 10.40ff)
- He let them know that their temporary failures did not affect His acceptance of them.
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22.31)
His closest moments of the Supper were after repeated failures during their travels, and His closest moments at the Great Commission and in the post-resurrection appearances were after the betrayal/denial/desertions...
- In His commitment to them, He dealt with them daily on the basis of "today"--not on the basis of the known future failures, nor on the basis of actual past failures!
He knew ahead of time that Judas would betray Him (John 6.64), that Peter would deny Him three times (Matt 26.34), and that all the disciples would desert Him at the Garden (Mt 26.31), but this did not stop Him for experiencing friendship and closeness with His followers.
- He maintained a strong personal relationship with God, from which to fulfil His commitments to His friends.
And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. 46 And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6.45)
Four--He expected commitments "from": He risked "friendship failures" with them, and communicated clearly His expectations of "their side" of the friendship
[cf. Matt 26.50: "Friend, why have you come?" or "Friend, do what you came for"]
- He took intimacy risks and personal risks, trusting them, even knowing the betrayals ahead
I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.' (John 13.18) quoting Ps 41.9: "Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
"For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, "Buy the things we have need of for the feast"; or else, that he should give something to the poor." (John 13.29) and "But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?" 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it." (John 12.4)
- He asked them for support in His hour of need.
"Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." (Matt 26.36)
- He was honest about how He felt about failed personal commitments, expecting them to be loyal friends.
"And they came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed." 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt." 37 And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? (Mark 14.32)
- He confronted them with major disagreements in agenda.
"And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." (Mark 8.31f)
Category: True Friend