Friendship is important to us. Perhaps you can think of friends in your life that you are grateful for. Or maybe you can look back to your childhood and remember the friends you had at school or who lived on the same street. When we move to a new place we often gain new friends, at uni or at work. Perhaps you can think of friends that you have lost along the way. Whether that's because you fell out, moved far away or sadly because they passed away. The idea of friendship brings up lots of memories, both good and bad.
It may surprise us to realise or remember that one of the ways in which the Bible Jesus describes is as a friend. Jesus is called many things in the Bible. He is called Lord, saviour, master, king and God. It may surprise us to realise or remember that one of the ways in which the Bible Jesus describes is as a friend. In John's gospel he is described as a friend to those who believe and trust in him. How amazing that the son of God could be described as our friend! At what we know as the last supper on the night that Jesus was betrayed by someone who turned not to be his friend, Jesus calls his true disciples, his friends. In verses 13 - 15 of John chapter 15 he says,
'Greater love have has no one than this that someone lay 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.'
Jesus is the greatest friend anyone could have. He is the friend who gave his life so that his people could be saved. So that they could be made right with God and reconciled to him. He was the perfect friend who always treated people rightly and obeyed all the way to the cross where he died for the sins of those who he would call his friends. It is even more amazing when we consider the fact that before we knew him we were actually his enemies! Romans 5 tells us,
'For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.' (v 6-8).
Jesus is the friend who gave himself for us and the friend who will be with us for the rest of our days. He is the friend who will 'never leave us or forsake' us (Heb 13 v 6). He will be with us through thick and thin, through sadness and joy. The best of earthly friends can fail us because they are sinners like us, Jesus never will. Proverbs 18 v 24 says,
'A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.'
If we trust in this friend, the one who died and rose to free us from sin and save us from Hell, we will be with him and know the friendship of God forever. The question is, have we accepted him, have we believed in this great friend and saviour today? Today is the day to accept him, he is the 'Friend of sinners' come to him today for salvation, follow and know this great friend.