JESUS IS OUR FRIEND. As we read the New Testament we often find Jesus dealing with people with problems; the blind or lame, the diseased both physically and spiritually, and multiple other problems. The text very seldom tells us exactly how the people arrived in these conditions and often we see people in conditions caused by Satan or other demons. Yet the text doesn’t very often tell us why these people are bothered or controlled by demonic spirits. The text simply states the problem without a lot of detail and I think there is a reason for that. Jesus loves us whether we bring problems on ourselves, or whether others bring them into to our lives, or whether we are just born with them.
In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (NIV). That is good news for us because Jesus wants to be our friend in spite of our life situation physically or spiritually. Jesus is not so concerned about how you arrived in your life situation as He is about how you will deal with that situation now. Jesus loves us in spite of our situation in life. That is what a friend does…they love at all times. The bible says in Romans 3:23, “We have all sinned and come short of God’s glory.” Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way”(NIV). In other words, at some time in our life all of us were out of God’s control and under the control of Satan and/or our own sinful nature. Whether we are physically whole or physically handicapped at one time we were all spiritually crippled people. We were following our own way not God’s way.
But the good news is as Isaiah the prophet said, “The Lord has laid on him (on Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6 NIV). Just as we like sheep have strayed from God, the shepherd of God has loved us and has come to find us. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11 NIV). In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (NIV). Jesus has laid down His life for us so we can be friends with Him. Jesus loves you and me and as lost sheep in this world Jesus has provided a way into God’s sheep-pen. Aren’t you glad Jesus is your friend?