What Kind Of Friend Is Jesus?

The whole world owes a debt of thankfulness to God for all that He has done for us through His Son Jesus. We have a future and a hope because Jesus was not just God but also wanted to be and became our friend.

When Christians think of out relationship with Jesus we most usually think of him as our saviour since we recognise our life would otherwise end in death and Jesus died to give us the opportunity to live forever with Him.

But, Jesus also told us to think of Him as our friend because He opens up Himself to us and relates to us as friends even though He is our God! In the book of John, Chapter 15 and verses 10-15 we read this...

John 15:10-15 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love 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 ultimate friend who gave up His life for us.

I once heard a testimonial in which the speaker described a friend in these terms.

"A friend is someone who will stick with you through any problem. A good friend is someone who will take away the evidence!"

It's an amusing concept but could also be said to have some insight when we consider what Jesus has done for us. Let me explain...

Have you ever seen one of those films where some people rob a bank and find that it's not just ordinary customers and businesses who are using the bank but that the Mafia controlled it and their money was in the bank also? As a result it's not just the Law but the Mafia also who were after their hides!

Well we were sinners and had the Law (of God) and the Maffia (Satan) both wanting to see us dead. The penalty for breaking the law (sin) is death and Satan comes only to 'steal, kill and destroy'. And with both these against us we had no power to get ourselves out of this mess. We didn't just need a friend, we needed a good friend!

It should not have escaped any Christian's notice that this was our situation until we were informed that JESUS had died on the cross and taken away (removed) our sins and we only had to accept him as 'Lord' and 'Saviour' and 'Friend' and we would receive His help and be given 'eternal redemption'! We had to believe on Jesus in other words; believe He was the kind of friend who had given up His life for US!

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That's just one of the scriptures that show what a 'good' friend Jesus is. The first scripture told us that, "Greater love has no man than that he will give up his life for a friend". Jesus gave up his life for all mankind to reconcile us to God and give us eternal redemption through belief in Him.

That solved part of our dilemma and we should be forever thankful for the love Jesus expressed for us in this way. But that's not all that He did! Jesus also took care of the other part we could not do; how to live righteously now and into the future.

On accepting Jesus' sacrifice for your sins and believing on Him you were also cloaked with His righteousness. This was even prophesied in the Old Testament by Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Now you are hidden in Christ. He has put you in a 'safe house' (His body) where the Law and Satan no longer have power over you. Notice what Paul tells us in the book of Romans.

Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

And James tells us this in his book...

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Those scriptures describe in a nutshell that sin and satan have been dealt with so that we can have life anew when we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and Friend and are living under grace and by faith in Jesus.

Remember that the bible tells us in Ephesians that we are saved by grace through faith?

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

We can live an ongoing life of overcoming if we live by faith. The Faith of and in our wonderful friend Jesus!

You see a good friend will also be there to help you in the normal day-to-day run of things; and Jesus is 'there' for us in our walk with God after we are rescued/redeemed.

I remember a story I read a few years ago by Louis Lamour in which a cowboy was caught in the mother of all blizzards. It was one of those blizzards that lasted for days and he was trapped in it. He'd lost his horse and was slowly and labourously moving in the direction of known shelter but was losing heat and hope all the time.

As he slowly moved along he came up against a barbed-wire range fence and found that also trapped by the fence was a cow unable to go any further. In order for him to survive, what the man did was to kill the animal and take out it's innards and crawl inside the carcase. The heat and shelter provided allowed him to survive through the rest of the blizzard.

We likewise are inside the body of Jesus; that spiritual entity - The Church. We are cloaked in His righteousness and we should stay inside away from the blizzard of  'the Law' and 'Satan' until it's all over. It would be foolish to go back out into the blizzard just because we have warmed up a little, on the basis that we think we can make it through the rest under our own efforts. No, we are to rest in the body surrounded by God's grace, Jesus' righteousness and living by faith.

We can see Paul making this point in Galatians 3:1-3..

Galatians 3:1-3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

Having been rescued from the storm in one way we are to ride out the storm using that same method. We've been saved by 'grace' through 'faith' and we are to live our new lives in Christ by 'grace' through 'faith'!

If we put our heads outside and try to survive the blizzard in our own strength we will be weakened and defeated.

Jesus is not just a friend to help us get salvation and then we can ignore him and carry on in our own strength, as though we can live upright lives on our own.

Our lives before, trying to be 'good' people and keep all God's commands, SHOULD have taught us that it is not possible, for us. The scriptures also tell us this in the letter to the Romans.

Romans 3:10-12 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

Trying once more to live righteous lives and obey all God's Law commands in our own power will only result in failure, condemnation and and sin consciousness.

This is not what God wants for His people. What God wants is for us to rest in Jesus till the storm is fully over! We are to put our faith in Him to live His life in and through us. We are saved by Grace through faith. So rest in Jesus!

This is the kind of friend that Jesus is to you. He suffered torture so that you can have mental health. He was beaten with stripes so that you can have physical health. He was made poor so that you might be rich. He was chastised so that you could have peace (shalom). He shed His blood and died so that you could have eternal redemption. So rest in His complete atonement.

As the Apostle Paul tells us in the letter to the Galations -

Galatians 3:11 'Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith."

When we learned about what Jesus had done for us we effectively were placed back into the situation that Adam and Eve were in before the fall. We have been given a choice. Live through taking of the 'tree of life' which is Jesus (the way, the truth and the life) or live through taking of the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil', which is Law. As Rom 7:7 tells us - 'I would not have known lust except that the Law had said "Thou shalt not covet"!'. It's the Law that gives you knowledge of good and evil; right and wrong.

You can live through Law, if  YOU can keep them. Do remember though that no-one besides Jesus has ever done this. I could keep my fingers crossed for you but I don't like your odds!

Or, you can put faith in and believe on our wonderful friend Jesus, rest in Him and gain eternal life through Him, and then through His grace imparted to us we are empowered to live ongoing Godly lives now in this age!

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age....

Thus in this life we can live uprightly and grow from faith to faith and glory to glory as we behold His face. Jesus Christ will live His life in us. He will empower us to live righteously as long as we submit to be guided by Him through Holy Spirit in us. We live by Grace through faith. The grace of our Lord Jesus and through 'His' faith as a gift.

So, let us rest and live in our friend Jesus. What a 'good' friend He is!

Attlee.


How To Resist The Devil. Click Here.
God's Sovereignty and Our Healing. Click Here.
Grace and Law in Ancient Israel. Click Here.
The Love Of God Click Here.
The Heart Of God Click Here.

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