The Company You Keep#6 “Jesus is my best friend.”

The Company You Keep#6 “Jesus is my best friend.”

Invisible people are everywhere: among the old, the infirm, the lonely and those who need special emotional care. It is not hard to miss these souls. They are easily hidden from sight and easily ignored. Jesus ignored nobody! His ministry extended also to the chronically ill, the demon possessed and the destitute.

We can be sure that if Jesus had restricted himself to charity work amongst the ‘nobodies’ of society, his enemies would not have bothered with him. Instead, Jesus did the unthinkable. He not only brought physical healing to the ‘invisibles,’ he brought spiritual hope to the ‘untouchables.’ He knew the scorn that his opponents reserved for him:
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ (Lk.7:34).
The Pharisees and the Sadducees considered the ‘tax-collectors and sinners’ to be so unholy that they were irredeemable. They reasoned that Jesus’ friendship with them put him in the same state.
Sin makes every person an enemy of God. There is no difference between the “tax collectors and sinners” and the self-righteous Pharisees and Sadducees. By dying on the cross, Jesus offered to make us friends again with God. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn.15:13). Praise God, glory Hallelujah!His friendship is free, but not unconditional: “You are My friends if you do what I command you” (Jn.15:14).What does he command us to do? Jesus sums it up in this way: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn.13:34).
Jesus’ offer of eternal friendship is based on this: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn.3:16). Since Jesus is my best friend, it is only natural to share that friendship in the way I sacrifice my life for others.

John Staiger

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