What Jesus Teaches Us About Friendship

In our culture, it is hard to find a good friend. People are willing to be your friend while the sun shines, but they leave when storms hit. Friendships today are often shallow and empty of true fellowship. We have never been more connected…and more starved for heart-to-heart relationships. 
Instead of looking to our culture to define friendship, let’s look at the life of Jesus Christ. At our church in Sydney Mines, we strive to follow His example. During his 33 years on earth, Jesus showed us what true friendship is meant to be. 

Here are 3 principles Jesus taught us about friendship.

1) Jesus taught us to put service above self.

In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” 

As the King of kings, Jesus could have expected people to wait on Him hand and foot. He could have trained His disciples to cook all His meals, book all His speaking engagements, and screen all His visitors. But Jesus did not come to be served. 

He came to serve us. 

Too often, we build friendships for our own benefit. We want fun, companionship, and support. These are good things—things we need—and friendship can often provide them.

But what happens when friends aren’t there for us? When they’re not fun anymore? When they’re facing cancer, a job loss, or a divorce? If we are there just for the benefits, we walk away. 

On the other hand, if our focus is on serving them, we will stay when things get tough. We will get on our knees and cry out for God’s intervention. We will learn to weep with those who weep, and we will walk with them through the pain. At our church in Sydney Mines, we are grateful to have friends who will do that.
 
True friendship is not about what we can receive. It’s about what we can give.

2) Jesus taught us how to love the unlovely.

Did you ever notice that it’s the beautiful people, the bubbly people, the confident people, who tend to attract friends easily? In our desire to be accepted, we gravitate towards people who seem to have it all together.

However, Jesus didn’t choose His friends this way. He chose humble fishermen, a tax collector, and a political activist (Simon the Zealot) to be His disciples.

Jesus reached out to the unlovely, the selfish, the fearful, the needy people. He gave them kindness, grace, and hope. He never gave up on people, no matter how deep their sin or how desperate their case.  

When God is calling to us to a friendship, we need to be faithful. Jesus didn’t give up on us—and we should not give up on others. 

True friendship is not based on appearances. It’s based on commitment.

3) Jesus taught us how to be loyal to the end.

When friendships get messy or uncomfortable, we often retreat into our comfort zone. We decide that our friends are just too awkward, or demanding, or selfish. Sometimes, we walk away when we should stay.

But Jesus didn’t give up on Thomas when he doubted the Resurrection. He didn’t give up on Peter after he denied Jesus three times.

For three years, Jesus travelled and ate and served alongside the man who would betray Him to death. And He loved Judas to the very last night. 

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” (John 13:1, emphasis added)

Jesus knew exactly where He was headed. He knew that sinners would strip Him, humiliate Him, and nail Him to a rugged cross. But He chose to endure that suffering for us. He died to offer a friendship beyond anything we could imagine…a friendship with God Himself. 

True friends don’t give up when things get tough. They are loyal to the end.

Jesus showed us what real friendship looks like. He served people, when they were thankful and when they were not. He loved people, no matter what their status or situation. He was loyal to the end, even to the cross.

It’s a lonely world out there, and we need each other’s friendship.

Let’s purpose to be true friends, brothers and sisters who are loyal to the end.

________________________________________________________________

Will you be a loyal friend? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com