Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What A Friend We Have in Jesus

This morning I explored the concept of Jesus as “friend.”  The first reading began by pointing out that the Bible refers to both Abraham and Moses as friends of God.  The idea of God regarding humans as friends surprised me.  I can't remember having read those passages before.  The same writer went on to point out several characteristics of Jesus that were indicative of his friendship with others, including his disciples.  He confided in them, he was not hesitant to speak frankly to them when they failed to understand his teachings, he loved them despite their failings, he even called his betrayer “friend.”  More importantly Jesus was a friend to those who needed him most, those regarded by Jewish society as “sinners,” who were so impure as to be shunned.  Jesus was condemned for eating and drinking with such people, for entering their homes.  The Pharisees accused him of being a “friend to sinners.”  This is the most remarkable thing to me about Jesus: that he reached out to those who were the outcasts of society, befriending them when the religious elite refused to associate with them.  Jesus didn’t tell these “sinners” to first abandon their sins and he would associate with them.  He accepted them as they were and shared his love with them as one would with friends.  For me that is the greatest of Jesus’ teachings, that he regarded all people as his “neighbors,” caring for them despite their station in life, their lack of devotion to God, their gender, or their ethnicity.  All were treated as friends, except those who snubbed the very people Jesus befriended.  I thank God for this teaching and for the fact that Jesus was and is a friend of sinners.  I pray that I will remember that Jesus never considered himself to be above associating with those that society considered “unclean.”


  1. I am not a Christian, but I really love learning about the many teachings in world religions & this one is quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing it :)

  2. Thanks for the comment. There are many who wouldn't consider me a Christian, either. I'm not concerned about the fine points of theology, but rather am simply seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus and understanding why he has had such a profound effect on my life. I enjoy your blog so much.