You Have to Be a Friend

There’s an old saying that goes “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.” The implication is that if you are friendly others will be friendly toward you. There is no guarantee that if you put yourself out there others will reciprocate. Even if you don’t have a friend, the Christ-like thing to do is be a friend anyway.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV) Jesus had 12 chosen apostles and a multitude of followers, but during his trial and crucifixion nearly every single one of them ran away. Jesus was a friend of sinners, healed legions of the sick and afflicted, feed thousands, but when the time came… he was left alone. His mother was there, and perhaps one disciple. Peter denied Jesus three times, and even invoked a curse on himself. After Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, the rest had fled in fear.

Yet on the cross, Jesus extended mercy even toward the people that were nailing him to the tree. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We are told to give without expecting repayment, to walk the extra mile (literally) and  to turn the other cheek. Jesus’ final command was to love. We are to have the same mind is us that Christ had. Regardless of what anyone else does or doesn’t do…

You have to be a friend.

2 thoughts on “You Have to Be a Friend

  1. ‘ungodly’ . . . ‘sinners’ . . . ‘enemies’ . . . words which Paul used to describe our state before God when He extended more than mere friendship to us.

    Yes, we have to BE a friend, even to those who might despitefully use us, and even if they refuse moves of friendship.

  2. Since writing this post, I have now preached this sermon twice (to different audiences). It helps to add Jesus command to love your enemies in Luke 6 and the parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10. Jesus was a friend to the friendless, and set the bar pretty high in his example of how to be a friend.

    “In this world you will have trouble, but fear not. I have overcome the world.” -Jesus

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